Friday, March 21, 2003

Review – Bog Creatures

I admit when I rented this stinker that I was sort of hoping for something along the lines of The Legend of Boggy Creek. Though it became obvious almost immediately that so such thing was in store, I remained willing to meet this movie on its own terms. However, it didn’t exactly rise to the occasion. This is ostensibly the story of a group of college students who unearth some kind of evil Vikings who had been buried in a bog for centuries and become murderous zombies once they’re dug up. So the plot didn’t show a great deal of promise to begin with. But once a dreadful script, awful acting and almost nonexistent production values are added to the mix … well, there isn’t even an E for effort here. The only nice thing I can think to write is that I rented this piece of crap from Hollywood, a video chain that occasionally makes a practice of stocking versions of movies with at least some of the sex and/or violence cut out. I don’t know for a fact that such censorship took place in this case, but if the copy I saw was cut that might at least explain a couple of awkward scenes that play like the intros to sex often found in softcore pornography, except in this case no sex ever ensues. I can’t feature that smut would have made this a more worthwhile viewing experience, but it might at least have made it flow a bit better. Wish I’d skipped it

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Review – Amadeus

What this tale of conflict between Mozart and Salieri lacks in historical accuracy it more than makes up for in compelling drama. Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham were both nominated for Best Actor Oscars, a rare case of two actors from the same movie actually deserving the award (Abraham won). Script by Peter Schaeffer and direction by Milos Forman round out the package. This is also an excellent demonstration of the value of DVD technology. Though I’ve watched this many times on VHS, tape doesn’t come close to the picture and audio quality of digital reproduction. Letterboxing contributes a lot, as does the extra footage found in the “director’s cut.” Overall this is a highly entertaining exploration of the nature of genius, envy, and the dire consequences when the former stirs the latter. Worth seeing