DVD Tales: Doctor Who and the Daleks to El Mariachi

Following from Doctor Who #159: Survival...

Doctor Who and the Daleks (Gordon Flemyng, 1965)
The first of the two drive-in movies based on the Doctor Who/Daleks franchise, Gordon Flemyng's adaptation of the original Dalek story is colorful and energetic, but I could do without the slapstick comedy. The boxed set came with Dalek Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (already reviewed) and a third disc containing a documentary called Dalekmania. It's only about the movies, sadly, and you won't find a full timeline of the evil salt shakers' appearances in tv, books, plays or porn.

Doctor Who Series 1-3 (Russell T Davies, 2005-7)
When Doctor Who came back, I was lucky enough that the CBC showed the episodes only two weeks late. With David Tennant's seasons, it was more like 8 months. I can't wait that long, so the Internet it is. The DVDs likewise came out later on this side of the pond, but now that the Science-Fiction Network is showing Who, we're getting Series 3 is simul-sell. Yay! While I do appreciate commentaries on every episode and lots of extras, there's a lot of missing material. Where's Attack of the Graske, for example? Grrrr. I'm quick to anger.

Dogma (Kevin Smith, 1999)
Kevin Smith's huge catholic epic definitely has its moments, but you've got to hear the cast and crew commentary to really appreciate this DVD. Smith and Afleck gives a tour de force performance as two guys who don't respect each other, at all. Which makes their dynamic identical to the one in my own group of friends. Plenty of stupid extras on this one, including stuff you need to input numbers to get (check the Internet for Easter Eggs including Jay and Silent Bob action figures doing the dirty - I mean, if that's your kind of thing, and I think it may be).

Ed Wood (Tim Burton, 1994)
My sister got me this release for Christmas to go with the Ed Wood boxed set she got me for my birthday. The whole family's thematic that way. Sadly, I'd watched the tape that same week as per a roommate's request, so I probably let a year go by before enjoying my sister's gift. I'm not a huge fan of Tim Burton's work. I respect his vision, but it's that very vision that make his movies look all the same to me. Ed Wood doesn't, and I think it's a proper and loving homage to "Hollywood's Worst Director", filmed in glorious black and white.

El Mariachi (Robert Rodriguez, 1992)
Made on the very cheap, El Mariachi stands as a masterpiece of guerilla film-making and editing, and Rodriguez really takes you to film school on the commentary track. A must for anyone interested in directing films on a budget (and isn't everyone on a budget at first?) as he doesn't skimp on practical advice. And the movie? It's a dynamic, slightly ridiculous action movie starring a Mexican guitar player. El Mariachi before he was a hero... and before he was Antonio Banderas.

But what did YOU think? Next: El Topo to Fallen Angels.

2 comments:

rob! said...

Ed Wood is by far Burton's best film--gentle and loving, with a lot less of the Burton's alienated loner thing that he seems to infuse in nearly all his films, whether it belongs there are not.

When I did my AquaShrine interview with Norman Alden, who played the color-blind cameraman in EW, he said Burton was fun and easygoing, very nice to work with.

i think the general good feeling of those making the movie showed up on the screen, making what couldve been a very dark, depressing movie(Wood's life ended at a very low point in his life--if he was around today, he'd be mobbed at every comic and horror con) into something very sweet.

Siskoid said...

Don't be stingy about self-promotion, Rob!

Mr. Alden was the voice of Aquaman on Super-Friends (now I wish he'd been in the baptism scene!) and you can find Rob's interview HERE.

 

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