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Videos To See Based On Their Reviews (2010)

by on 2010/12/28

In no particular order, these five selections are the videos (movies or TV) that I most want to see, based on articles written by my co-reviewer in 2010.

The Great Escape (1963)

“English audiences voted on their favourite movies to watch on Christmas Day.  Men led the charge, voting The Great Escape their number one choice, while female viewers carried it to a respectable third place.  Though impressed, I was also surprised.  I’d never thought of this piece as festive.  I suppose audiences find it to be family friendly, defensible as history, and generally entertaining.”

The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1953)

“Here’s a piece with many enjoyable B-movie offerings:  an introductory history of the Earth (complete with Biblical nods), pipe-smoking explorers, and a swooping bat on a wire.  It’s the visual equivalent of Exotica but, for all its cheesy fun, there are genuine points to admire, like the extensive underwater footage, predating Thunderball by a decade.”

Event Horizon (1997)

“At present it seems The Thing To Do to dismiss or disparage the director, Paul W. S. Anderson.  As a casual fan of his Resident Evil series, I’m inclined to cut him some slack, but he doesn’t always make it easy.”

Mostly I want to see the blood orgy that inspired South Park’s Woodland Critters Christmas.

The Devil Bat (1940)

“For all the movie’s quaintness, it would doubtless rot forgotten without the presence of Bela Lugosi.  Like classic horror fellows Vincent Price and Christopher Lee he doesn’t so much elevate the material as he does take possession of it.  Which is only appropriate for the greatest embodier of Dracula.  I can’t imagine anyone else following him in the delivery of his lines:  his spastic acrobatics to avoid his own shaving products; his overt telegraphing in bidding each victim, “Good-BYE!”; his breathless mania in ordering, “Strike . . . to kill!”

P.S. Hacker Renders does the best Bela Lugosi impersonation ever.

Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)

“Long out of print on video, its rarity piqued my interest.  And the high prices sought — even for used copies — convinced me.  (Convinced me to borrow it from the public library that is.)  Based on the life of famed Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, Thirty Two Short Films portrays its subject as an intense, inconsistent (even self-contradictory) eccentric, an egocentrist more likely to veer into gentle whimsy than delusion or threat.  Like other modern recluses he comes to rely on technology, because it allows him to live life on his own terms.  But his foibles are harmless, even charming, and he never descends into the paranoia, lunacy, or rabid technophilia you might expect.  Between suggested drug use and obsessive numerology, this film’s Gould is a threat only to himself.”

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