Friday, June 10, 2005

If I Could Turn Back Time.....

Let me set the scene for you.

It's August of 2003. Jill and I are finishing up our Australian vacation in Adelaide. After about twelve days of being constantly on the go and with less than 24 hours to spend in this final city, we decided that we wouldn't do much site seeing, but instead would take in a movie.

One possible choice was to see American Wedding, the final movie in the American Pie series. The other choice (I'm sure there was more than one, but I can't for the life of me remember what the others were) is an Australian made movie called Danny Deckchair. We had seen a few commercials for it and it looked kind of interesting.

Maybe it was the exhaustion. Maybe we were feeling homesick. We went to see American Wedding and were thoroughly disappointed. If you've seen it, you know why.

Once we were home, I kind of regretted not taking the chance to experience some "native cinema", so to speak. But I just filed it under my impressive list of missed opportunities and went on with my life.

Fast forward to a month or two ago. Jill and I are at Action Video, the local video rental store here in Blue Earth (which also doubles as the 1 hour photo shop and triples as a tanning salon. You gotta love small towns) and what do we find under new releases?

Danny Deckchair! I could hardly believe it. I never thought I would see an Australian movie in an American video store, especially not here in Blue Earth (but, then again, Action Video does have a pretty eclectic selection).

Well, tonight, Jill and I rented Danny, and I have to say, I've been kicking myself. If I could turn back time, I would plop down in Adelaide and whisper in my own ear to forget the Wedding and see Danny instead.

Okay, maybe not. Time travel powers should not be wasted on such frivolous things, but anyway....

If you haven't seen this movie, hunt it down. I guarantee you'll have a good time.

Oh, and if you need extra incentive, consider this: throughout the movie, I kept looking at the lead actress, trying to remember where I had seen her before. I knew it was some sort of sci fi or fantasy movie, some big blockbuster, but I just could not place the face. So I waited until the end credits rolled and wrote down her name, then Googled her (how sad is it that Google has become a verb?).

It turns out that Miranda Otto played Eowyn in The Lord of the Rings movies. She's the one who dispatched the Witch King in the last movie.

So go out and start renting! Let's give this movie the audience it deserves!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

What $20K will buy you....

So I read about this in Entertainment Weekly, and I had to see it for myself:

That's the weblink for "Star Wars: Revelations," a fan film shot on the East Coast.

First, the bad stuff. The plot is convoluted and, for the most part, well nigh incomprehensible. It took me most of the 40 minute running time to figure out what the heck these people were trying to do. The acting was lamentable. All the Jedi in the movie seemed to come from the "Whiny Anakin" school of acting. Honestly, there wasn't a single actor I wanted to "get behind" and root for. And this may sound insensitive, but they really needed to cast a larger net to find "The Emperor's Hand." For those of us in the know, "The Emperor's Hand" is a sort of assassin introduced by Timothy Zahn in his Thrawn trilogy. Zahn's Emperor's Hand is a lady named Mara Jade. You can see what she looks like here. Very sleek, very stealthy, very deadly. Zhanna, the Emperor's Hand of this movie, was not sleek, didn't appear to be able to sneak up on much of anything, and seemed mildly put out, not lethal. If we're going from a purely Star Wars perspective, this movie didn't add much to the Extended Universe.

But I still liked it. Why? As you watch the movie, keep this one fact in mind: they did this with a budget of $20,000. All the effects, everything, for twenty grand. If that's not worthy of admiration, I don't know what is.

Hollywood, take note! You don't have to spend tons of money. Simplify!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I have to wait a year?!?

I hate it when I have to wait, but I guess I'll have to. It'll be worth it, though, for this:

Want to see what I mean? Read on: