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Month in Review: January 2011

by on 2011/01/31

It’s been a busy January.  We spent the first month of this year tackling “firsts”, appropriately enough:  the beginnings of as many geek and goth series as we could lay our pale hands on.

For the purposes of narrowing things to a manageable level, we decided that “series” meant any franchise with at least three instalments.  Due to the cultish nature of these pieces, some of the series have become direct-to-video in their latter days, but all began with theatrical releases.

While we weren’t able to be as exhaustive as we’d like — I wish I could have squeezed in The Bourne Identity, Jaws, and Mission: Impossible — we are humans with full-time jobs, after all, and I think we did pretty well.

Here then is my personal “geek” highlight reel for January 2011, my list of five:  favourites, surprises, disappointments, and least-liked, as well as the movie I’d most like to see (again) based on the recommendation of our Ms. Geusebach.

Favourite Film:
The Matrix (1999)

“I’d seen it all before, though never in a single piece.  I could scarcely believe it worked.  Things that shouldn’t have gelled did:  art and craft, brains and brawn, spirit and substance.  It’s an endeavour so exceptional and rich, it not only withstands multiple viewings, it encourages and rewards them.”

Greatest Surprise:
Trancers / Future Cop (1985)

“Inhabiting a bargain bin where five bucks gets you three flicks, this noir-soaked Terminator variant predates the similar Timecop by a decade, and the Assassin’s Creed games by two.  Amateurish in comparison, Trancers is way more fun than any of them.  It’s the best bad movie I’ve seen since Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter rekindled my faith in the indie scene.  Happily it’s got five sequels.”

Most Disappointing:
Star Trek:  The Motion Picture (1979)

Like that old chestnut about how Apple sees Microsoft, I see Star Trek: The Motion Picture as a monolithic resource hog, with neither taste nor style.  It has an interesting overall concept, but spends too much of its time paying clumsy service to itself, to its own detriment.”

Resident Evil (2002)

“Studies have shown some people respond to harsh sounds the way most respond to light music.  Joyless, unpleasant, and never fun, Resident Evil is a distraction intended for them.  At its worst, it’s tense, at best, adrenalizing.  In truth, the scariest moment of all was the spilling of a coffee.  I can see that in my kitchen for free.”

Dishonourable Mentions:
Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (2009)
Species (1995)

Show Me:
John Carpenter’s Vampires (1998)

“A Western vampire film – two great tastes that taste great together. That’s what John Carpenter’s Vampires is, a Western shootout with vampires.

“When I first saw this movie, it was a bit of a revelation. It certainly wasn’t like any vampire movie I’d seen before. First, there was the setting: dusty, sun-scorched desert country.”

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