Friday, May 18, 2018

TV Alley: House


Created by David Shore
2004 - 2012

A brilliant, egomaniacal, drug-addicted, misanthropic diagnostic doctor and his team take on bizarre and mysterious cases with no clear-cut cures. While it took me forever to actually get into this show, considering my general disinterest in medical dramas, now that I've finished it I can safely say it was one of the most satisfying shows I've ever seen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

200 Items Or Less: Wishmaster (1997)

A few thoughts: Starting right off with a sequence full of some totally awesome effects work, the movie quickly does away with the practical and jumps into more CG territory. And not just any CG -- late '90s CG. Simply the best! Well, let's be fair, there are tons of practical effects throughout, but the CG is two lousy not to complain about. Basically, this is a Hellraiser rip-off, blending fantasy, folklore, and body maiming brutality. Unsurprisingly, Hellraiser is much better, but that doesn't mean there aren't things to like about this. As mentioned before, the practical effects and makeup are great, Robert Englund has a nice supporting role that's completely ham-free, and Andrew Divoff makes for a very entertaining and corny villain. With tons of cameos from horror stars like Angus Scrimm, Tony Todd, and Kane Hodder, and directed by Robert Kurtzman (known largely for his prosthetic/makeup work), this is a horror movie filled with little nuggets for fans of the genre. It's just not quite good enough to really stand on its own.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

TV Alley: Boston Legal

Boston Legal

Created by David E. Kelly
2004 - 2008

Spin-off of the popular legal drama The Practice, Boston Legal follows the often cartoonish exploits of the law firm Crane, Poole & Schmidt. Sometimes cripplingly "comedic", the show is held together by two lead performances and the wonderful chemistry they share on screen.

From the beginning, you can tell this is

Friday, May 11, 2018

200 Items Or Less: 2001 Maniacs (2005)

A few thoughts: A movie of almost admirable sleaziness, this loose remake of the splatter classic 'Two Thousand Maniacs' by Herschell Gordon Lewis follows the same basic story as the original, but with more gore, sex, and general exploitation-iness. What else could you expect from it? This movie establishes pretty quickly how serious it's meant to be taken: not at all. This is pure trash through and through, and it doesn't ever pretend to be anything else. Apart from a particularly over the top and entertainingly lively performance from Robert Englund, the cast is mostly there for looks alone. The protagonists are all attractive and young, so they don't have to know how to act. Seeing Eli Roth's name in the credits wasn't a surprise to me at all, considering the kind of characters the movie is filled with. It's designed to be a guilty pleasure, so shouldn't be judged as anything but just that. Oh, and did I mention Lin Shaye's in this, too? She and Englund really are what works best here. The rest of the movie is dumb, but entertaining enough...I guess.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

TV Alley: Lost


Created by Jeffrey Lieber, Damon Lindelof, and J.J. Abrams
2004 - 2010

A flight from Sydney, Australia crashes on a mysterious island where bizarre and unexplainable events take place with regularity. Following a huge ensemble cast of characters, this sci-fi/fantasy drama was massively popular right out the gate, but while it's viewership slowly declined, the quality stayed high throughout, ending the series on a terrific note.