Sci Fi Weekly reviews, forthcoming Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | User List | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration
Night Shade Message Boards » Castro, Adam-Troy » Sci Fi Weekly reviews, forthcoming « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 10:23 am:   

Currently up:

"The Donor"

"Dead Alive" (classic)

forthcoming:

"What the $%^#@ Do We know?" (movie review)
"The Road Warrior" (classic review)
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (classic review)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 07:30 am:   

Forthcoming on scifiweekly.com:

review of Pamela Sargent's FOOTPRINTS
review of Philip K. Dick's THE DIVINE INVASION
review of DVD: LOST IN SPACE SEASON 2 VOLUME 1
review of DVD: HARSH REALM THE COMPLETE SERIES
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Saturday, December 11, 2004 - 09:34 am:   

Upcoming reviews

WATCHMEN
CARNIVALE
BUFFY SEASON 7
FABLED
THE NEW ADAM
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2005 - 11:18 am:   

Upcoming Reviews:

RED DWARF SEASON 5 (online now)
RED DWARF SEASON 6
THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO Season One
A Frank Frazetta Documentary (not received yet)
Classic reviews: ALIENS
FREAKS
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 11:29 am:   

Upcoming:

THE INCREDIBLES DVD
THE LONE GUNMEN DVD (complete series)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 10:50 am:   

Excerpt from my review of the GREATEST AMERICAN HERO DVD, upcoming on scifiweekly.com.

...there are scattered moments here and there when the special effects are
not just antiquated or primitive by today's standards, not just forgiveable
improvisations to cover a low budget, but full-tilt capital-B Bad. I'm talking
Ed Wood Bad, PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE Bad, ROBOT MONSTER Bad, They-Just-Didn't-Give-A-Damn
Bad. The most risible sequence appears in the episode "Reseda Rose," in
which our hero has to prevent a spy ring from escaping aboard a russian
submarine. First, stock shots of the submarine surfacing in daylight are
intercut with dark scenes of the spies lurking on the beach at night. Then,
we have the usual blurry, badly superimposed footage of our hero flying
out to the sub. Then we have him colliding against the sub's conn tower,
a model that would be fairly convincing if not for the wrinkles in the extremely
visible cloth backdrop. Then we're treated to a clear shot of the deck beneath
Katt's feet, as he stands: it's all shiny black plastic, which pulls free
of the floor as he takes his first step. Either nobody in production saw
how comically awful this looked, or nobody in production cared.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 06:31 am:   

From my upcoming Scifiweekly.com review of THE INCREDIBLES special edition
DVD, a preview of my favorite feature.

(excerpt)

Secret goverment files provide us with the data on the known Supers, including
several whose only film appearance is on Syndrome's long list of previous
victims. The listings are cross-referenced to provide us data on who teamed
up with who. It turns out that the super-teams on this world were the Beta
Force, The Thrilling Three, and the Phantasmics. Most of the computer files
include short audio interviews with the various Supers, establishing that
most were eccentric in the extreme. Universal Man liked Perry Como and suffered
from poor self esteem. Phylange mentions fighting Gamma Super Aquatic Ninja
Pygmies. Stormicide has gas-emission powers and is sensitive to all the
fart jokes people just happen to come up with around her. Mr. Incredible
has his own opinions: he thinks Phylange never cleaned his costume enough
("it was all full of shmutz") and can barely contain himself thinking about
how much work the guy put into his unique "battle yodel." As for Gazerbeam,
visible in the film at the Incredibles wedding and as the skeleton Bob discovers
on Syndrome's island, shoots ocular laser beams, which he sadly notes could
be quite a "pickle in a relationship scenario," as his habit of averting
his eyes was all too often misinterpreted as disinterest. But he notes he
has a great sense of humor, and is often "guffawing away on the steamship
of hilarity."

(end of excerpt)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 05:08 pm:   

INCREDIBLES DVD review up now; as is my essay on FREAKS.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

adam-troy
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 11:25 am:   

1200 words so far: my "Classics" review for scifiweekly.com, of CHARLY,
the Cliff Robertson film adaptation of the Daniel Keyes classic, "Flowers
for Algernon."

I call it woefully dated. As it is. Painfully so. But I single Cliff Robertson
out for special praise.

Excerpt:

"...it's fairly easy for any actor to look good mugging and mumbling as
a retarded person (one reason so many academy-baiting thespians have tried
it). More impressive by far is Robertson's success at maintaining that characterization
through the intermediate versions of Charly, taking him through shy infatuation,
to hormonal overload, to empty rebellion, to maturity and finally to the
awareness that everything he's gained is about to be taken away from him.
It's that progression, and not his early capering as Charly, that qualifies
this as a great performance."
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Saturday, April 23, 2005 - 06:14 am:   

Okay, also completed today, my review for scifiweekly.com of the horror movie
THE SUCKLING, in which an aborted fetus mutated by toxic waste grows to a huge,
carnivorous monster. I am not kind. In fact, I think I topped my previous review
of HORROR, for sheer scorn. Excerpt:

"I'd be remiss if I didn't devote a little space to the tastefulness of the
subject matter, which leads up to a warm-fuzzy scene where the feisty, disenfranchised
fetus hunkers down real low and crawls back inside his abandoned previous apartment,
while Mom Rebecca shrieks like a proctology patient being probed with an active
leaf-blower. It's a scene that operates as it could have been made by some of
the more crazed members of the pro-life crowd, to scare the crap out of young
girls entering their sexually active years with the allegation that abortion
leads to violation by carnivorous raaar-beasts. And I'd almost applaud its sheer
bravado, had it appeared in a better movie. But since we don't give a damn about
Rebecca, and we can't believe she's real since the actress playing her seems
to have all the conviction of a sack of dead cats, it's not even as icky as
sticking your hand inside your pocket and finding something wet."
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 05:25 am:   

And 1400 MORE words, finishing out the month's reviews with my take on SAPPHIRE
AND STEEL: THE COMPLETE SERIES.

Excerpt:

{The final arc} may not be the only thriller driven by secret villains who continue
to bide their time long after they have any practical reason to do so, just
to ensure that the story itself reaches its desired length (indeed, the TV series
24 has had a number of them), but the deliberately-paced, claustrophobic format
of this series brings the reticence of these particular bad guys into sharp
relief, and calls attention to the padded nature of the show in general. Because
the sad truth is, all of these stories spend at least half their running time
on treadmills.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

adam-troy
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 06:49 am:   

Up now: THE LONE GUNMEN Complete series DVD, and
I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 09:31 am:   


1000 words today, so far, my scifiweekly "Classics" column review of David Cronenberg's
SCANNERS. I gave it a low grade, saying that there's precious little to bridge
the narrative between the opening exploding-head jolt and the closing telepathic
duel.

I say the lead actor, Stephen Lack, looks an awful lot like a young Martin Landau
but doesn't display a fraction of the acting talent. I also point out that acting
isn't his main line. He's only been in 11 films over the past thirty years,
and is best known as a world-renowned painter.

Another quote: "...it's so far from being the film's fault that it seems churlish
to point it out, but these days it's awfully distracting to hear McGoohan's
character constantly referred to as 'Dr. Ruth.'"
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 12:04 pm:   

Approx 900 words today, my scifiweekly.com Classics column review of Ralph Bakshi's 1977 elves-with-tits epic, WIZARDS. Not a very salutory review, I'm afraid. Here's a preview:

The Nazi metaphor is strained to
the point of offensiveness, especially in scenes where
Blackwolf's minions refer to him as Fuhrer, and
another where a mutant rips the meat from a carcass
bearing a Jewish star. Bakshi no doubt saw these
elements as cutting-edge satire, and they might have
seemed profound indeed to an audience capable of being
impressed by the daring presentation of a cartoon
princess with protruding nipples. But really:
subsequent animated features, like THE LION KING and
ANTZ, have played their fascism metaphors with much
more subtlety and wit. The Nazi imagery in WIZARDS now
plays as cheap and sophomoric.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

adam-troy castro
Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 08:43 am:   

1000 words this A.M, my Scifiweekly review of QUATERMASS (the one with John
Mills) on DVD.

Excerpt:

"Sure, the budget's low. But it's more than adequate to nail the real-world
elements (including, memorably, an automobile graveyard where a group of elderly
refugees have set up housekeeping), and that gives QUATERMASS a believability
that extends to the many more fantastic developments. The climax among the setpieces
is the harvesting of Planet People who have filled London's Wembley stadium:
we don't see the actual slaughter, but we see the moments leading up to it,
as well as the horrific aftermath, and it's more immediate, more horrific, than
many filmic catastrophes rendered pixel-by-pixel in the age of CGI. No story
about a vast, invisible alien artifact that brainwashes earth's youngsters into
willingly lining up for their mass incineration has ever felt more real."
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 06:33 am:   

QUATERMASS review is up.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 08:30 am:   

Sometimes, my review assignments for Scifiweekly and Sci Fi magazine turn out
to be insufficiently sfnal, and I have to let Scott know, foregoing the assignment
early so I don't do all the work on a piece inappropriate for the venue.

This has happened twice before: once with a short story collection that turned
out to contain only one (1) fantasy piece, and once with a book that turned
out to be woo-woo ufology of the most pernicious kind (actually, breathless
reporting to the effect that the Beatles, Elvis, and subsequent rock bands had
experienced real, no-kidding close encounters with aliens). In the first case
I didn't think the collection was right for scifiweekly, and in the second,
I declared I wouldn't write the review unless Scott let me savage the book (which
he might have, for the website, but not for the print magazine).

My latest assignment was a boxed set of the '60s spy show starring Robert Vaughn,
the PROTECTORS. I vaguely remembered it being on tv, but had never seen an episode.

I have now watched five episodes, including the only two that seemed in synopsis
to possess the potential for fantasy/sf content, and I've had to e-mail Scott
querying him on whether he really wanted me to go ahead with the assignment.

It's not really a spy show, as far as I can tell. It's a private eye show, where
the private eyes take assignments of international importance. Gadgetry is at
an absolute minimum, though there may be a few gimmicks in the episodes I haven't
seen. It certainly isn't a James Bond or Man from U.N.C.L.E or Alias kind of
thing: those all have a skiffy feel, and this is closer by far to MANNIX.

The opening credits are unusual for an action-type show, which usually depict
the hero doing something exciting. Here, Robert Vaughn wakes up in bed next
to his dog, dons a robe, cooks himself some eggs, eats some breakfast while
reading a book (and wearing glasses), feeds his dog a piece of toast, then packs
a gun and leaves for work. Not just dull, but DETERMINEDLY dull. The show itself
is somewhat better, especially in its use of European locations, but not by
as much as you'd hope.

Howler: in an episode where Robert Vaughn pretends to be a homeless alcoholic
in order to infilitrate a religious cult, he is clean-shaven, has slick-backed
hair, and polished shoes. Didn't go so far as to smudge up his face. The disguise
nevertheless works on the bad guys.

That ep had the only fantasy element I've seen: a strong gust of wind blows
open a church window and disarms a thug, indeed drives him to his knees, thus
suggesting the intervention of God. Again, nothing I wouldn't expect to see
in one of the more fanciful episodes of Mannix. If every episode had this kind
of twist, I'd say maybe, but I think something on this order happens twice in
the season.

My reluctant verdict: I really, REALLY don't think this is for Scifiweekly.

So you probably won't see this DVD review on the website any time soon.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Andrew Fox
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 08:41 am:   

Ahh, good ol' MANNIX. One of those shows that was on after my bedtime but that I made sure to stay up and watch anyway. Loved his secretary; I think she was the best thing about that show.

Hey, it was absolutely terrific to get to meet you and Judi "in the flesh," Adam-Troy. You guys were great company at Oasis Con. I just wish we could've spent more time together. Maybe next time. I enjoyed sharing a panel with you, too, and am greatly looking forward to delving into your short story collection. Remember, you and Judi have a place to stay here in N'Awlins whenever you're able to wander over this way.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 07:47 am:   

Same as, Andrew, and we are talking about it.

Currently up on site:

My classics review of WIZARDS,
which has gotten some angry mail,


and my review of THE SUCKLING,
a rilly bad horror film that earned a rilly
narsty rant from self.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 11:11 am:   


800 words, my CLASSICS essay on "Field of Dreams". Which does admit that I not
only get weepy, but become a total mess.

Excerpt:

"The performances range from adequate to terrific, and chief among them is Kevin
Costner‘s, a statement that is nowadays startling all by itself. The man has
spent so much of his career being rightly excoriated for his woodenness playing
figures who are supposed to be larger than life, like Robin Hood, Wyatt Earp,
and WATERWORLD’s Mariner (performances that were for the most part stiff, charisma-free,
and joyless) that it’s sometimes easy to forget how nuanced and charming he
can be when playing hapless ordinary men. In FIELD OF DREAMS, one of five Costner
films featuring connections to baseball, he’s moving indeed as a man dumbfounded
and delighted by the miracles that have taken over his life."
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 03:28 pm:   

TOMORROW PEOPLE review is on the site.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 08:36 am:   

900 words so far today, my review of '80s TWILIGHT ZONE Seasons 2 and 3 on DVD. An excerpt.

"Whether adapting classic stories or penning his own originals, Alan Brennert is the most consistently interesting of the contributors. His script for "The Cold Equations", an adaptation of the classic story by Tom Godwin, presents Terrence Knox as a space pilot confronted with the prospect of jettisoning a cute teenage stowaway, to preserve the fuel he needs to reach his destination. The storytellers reportedly met considerable resistance maintaining the original's bleak ending, which was of course the story's entire point. His adaptation of Theodore Sturgeon's powerful "A Saucer of Loneliness," starring Shelley Duvall, is TWI-ZONE at its most heart-rending, as is his adaptation of the Parke Godwin tale, "Time and Teresa Golowitz," featuring Gene Barry as a devil offering a deal of a more benevolent kind. The story isn't startling, but it is sweet."
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 08:40 am:   

More upcoming reviews:

THE STONE RAFT (spanish fantasy)
Cronenberg's THE FLY

(possibly)
IMMORTAL
THEY CAME BACK
both of them french fantasies.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 01:14 pm:   

Another 750 words, my review of George Sluizer's THE STONE RAFT on DVD: a very
odd Spanish film involving a spanish teacher followed around everywhere he goes
by a flock of starlings, a young woman who unravels thousands of feet of yarn
from a single frayed sock, and a strange cataclysm causing a rift in the Pyrenees
that separates Spain and Portugal from Europe and sends the entire Iberian Peninsula
on a collision course with the Azores. No, I'm not kidding. Excerpt.

"In dramatic terms, the story doesn't so much build to a climax as just, simply,
stop. But that's all right. It's a journey with people we like, that ends on
a bright and sunny note. And that's enough."
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 10:52 am:   

800 words, my review on the giant-carnivorous tree movie, THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL (otherwise known as TREES 2), which headlines Ron Palillo. Excerpt.

"The first TREES movie evidently did well enough to attract the presence of an actual, sort-of, shut-your-eyes-and-pretend-it-counts celebrity for the sequel: in this case Ron Palillo, best (and, for the most part, only) known for playing Arnold Horshack on the '70s TV series, WELCOME BACK, KOTTER. His minor supporting role here, as Dougie Styles, an annoying real estate developer with a fully reciprocated crush on Cody's less-than-supportive wife Helen (Mary Ann Nilan), defines gratuitous, which doesn't stop the producers of this thing from headlining him in both the credits and the accompanying publicity.
This permits us to coin a new rule of movie-making: if you consider obtaining Horshack a casting coup, chances are you've already lost.


I didn't fit it into the review (as he's appeared as himself a number of times, and it was too unwieldy to get into), but this is Palillo's first screen gig, playing somebody other than himself, in about a decade.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2005 - 11:06 am:   

Not for scifiweekly, but for the print magazine, SCI FI, have received, for review, and almost completed reading, THE STANLEY KUBRICK
ARCHIVE, a 17-pound coffee table book with a wealth of material on every
film Kubrick ever made (and three he didn't). It's so heavy that it comes in
a briefcase with a handle. Retailing at about two hundred dollars (though Amazon offers it for about $125.00), it includes
a CD of an interview with Kubrick, and (most dazzlingly) a filmstrip cut from Kubrick's own copy of 2001.

All of the behind-the-scenes stuff is interesting, including his resentful and fractious experience on SPARTACUS (which he did as a hired gun, and which he did not consider part of his life's work).

Greatest lost opportunity of his career does not seem to have A.I (which Kubrick
himself believed Spielberg could do better than he could -- and I consider the
matter arguable). No, it would be NAPOLEON. He abandoned his fully-completed
script after Rod Steiger stunk up the place in the Russian film, WATERLOO. Since
the script still exists, maybe somebody of talent can rescue it.

In any event, reviewing is cool, if it lets me have an occasional treasure like this.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Scott Edelman
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2005 - 12:27 pm:   

This is one of those books I wish I didn't have to pass on to a reviewer.

;-(
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2005 - 06:24 pm:   

I know how you feel, Scott.

AND the seventh review this month, of the french fantasy LES REVENANTS (also
known as THEY CAME BACK): a zombie film of a different kind, in which the returning
dead all over the world are perfectly presentable, well-dressed folks who disrupt
the lives of those who have already mourned for them. Excerpt:

"THEY CAME BACK is being marketed as an upscale zombie film, a classification
certain to disappoint ravenous fans who will sit through the sad, deliberately-paced
drama only because they're waiting for an explosive climax. The filmmakers provide
just the barest taste of that, as if to placate those who walk into this film
expecting Gallic Romero. But, in truth, physical scares are not on this film's
agenda. It's a more melancholy creepiness, driven by pangs of grief, and the
dawning awareness among everybody still breathing that the Dead are not so much
sharing in the joy of reconciliation as they are echoing the sentiments of those
who've welcomed them back."
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 05:50 am:   

Another 800 words, reviewing the French CGI film IMMORTAL, with its gorgeous
depiction of 2095 Manhattan, and downright loopy storyline that includes the
return to Earth of the Egyptian God Horus, a guy whose leg is a solid hunk of
iron from the knee down, and a woman whose tears permanently stain skin blue.
Excerpt:

"Some will be further alienated by Horus using Nikopol's body to mate with Jill
in a coupling that all three characters regard as, and frankly call, rape...as
well as the fact that Jill isn't particularly traumatized by this. Her subsequent
infatuation with Nikopol is supposed to be the film's great love story, but
under the circumstances it emerges as downright icky."
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

jeff ford
Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 06:23 am:   

Adam: Is this movie Immortal new out io DVD or is it just in theatres now? It doesn't seem like you liked it too much from the second paragraph, but the description in the first paragraph sort of intrigues me.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2005 - 09:05 am:   

Jeff: in the states, it's coming direct to DVD.

It's not a great movie, frankly, but some of the visuals are to die for. It joined SKY CAPTAIN and SIN CITY as movies filmed entirely on digital sets, and is at its best moments better-looking than either, though I didn't like the story much at all.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2005 - 09:14 am:   

Jeff: just checked. I gave the film a C, mostly on the basis of its visuals. The story would have been one grade lower.

An oddity: aside from three principals, all the characters are CGI too, interacting oddly with the people with actual, you know, pores.

Worth seeing for the visuals and for sheer eccentricity.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

jeff ford
Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2005 - 07:15 pm:   

Adam: Thanks for the run-down. I think I'm going to try to check it out.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

John Joseph Adams
Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2005 - 07:51 pm:   

Jeff --

It's available from Netflix:

http://www.netflix.com/MovieDisplay?movieid=70033146&trkid=90529

And you can watch the trailer there. It does indeed look visually stunning.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Sunday, July 03, 2005 - 03:40 am:   

Well, return here after you see it and let us know what you think.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Thursday, July 07, 2005 - 06:53 am:   

The Field of Dreams review is now up.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Monday, July 11, 2005 - 07:34 am:   

The '80s Twilight Zone Seasons 2 and 3 review will be up sometime today.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2005 - 06:00 am:   

Monday, ROOT OF ALL EVIL (killer tree movie starring Horshack) will be up.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Friday, July 29, 2005 - 12:26 pm:   

Appearing Monday: my essays on Cronenberg's THE FLY
and the bad horror film FLESH-EATING MOTHERS.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Monday, August 08, 2005 - 11:00 am:   

IMMORTAL review runs today.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 02:13 pm:   

THE STONE RAFT review is up.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 08:16 am:   


Okay, just completed and sent in the review of IN THE DUST OF THE STARS, one
of three East German science fiction films made between 1960 and 1976 that have
just been released on DVD. It would be nice to report that the turn out to be
neglected masterpieces that have been sadly overlooked by the West, but, alas,
they're not very good. Quote from my review of IN THE DUST OF THE STARS:

the Boss emerges as effete to the point of lunacy, happily spray-painting his
head different colors, posing and voguing even while alone as if simply delighted
with his photogenic wonderfulness, and more than once losing track of his villainous
soliloquys in mid-rant. He doesn't seem to be in the same movie as everybody
else. But I wish I could see more of the movie he's coming from.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2005 - 09:50 am:   

For Scifi print:

So far today, have finished book review of Jack Dann's THE FICTION FACTORY, a sort of second-generation PARTNERS IN WONDER featuring Dann's short-story collaborations (sometimes in groups of three!), with Susan Casper, Gardner Dozois, Gregory Frost, the late Jack C. Haldeman II, Barry N. Malzberg, Michael Swanwick, Janeen Webb, and George Zebrowski. The tone ranges from whimsy and farce to grim psychological horror. Almost every story is a delight, and a couple (among them the holocaust-themed "Down Among the Dead Men") are masterpieces. Most bizarre tale of the bunch: "Art Appreciation," written with Malzberg, about a hapless museum patron who discovers that the Mona Lisa is eating people.

I call this collection brilliant and indispensable.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2005 - 10:03 am:   

Also: LOST Season 1 DVD review is up.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 02:12 pm:   

Just came back from the latest cheapjack horror film, VENOM, which is set in
the Louisiana Bayous, and which I've reviewed for scifiweekly. I say that were
it much worse, it would be tempting to go for the tasteless cheap shot and call
it the second worst thing to happen to Louisiana in the past month. But it's
most irritating for its missed opportunities. Excerpt:

"Worse than that, however, is the film's utter failure to recognize who its
protagonists should be, preferring instead to surrender to convention and focus
on the pretty, young, blonde, uninteresting, and of course, white, med student
Eden. Of course she's the star. That's what she had to be, as long as the moviemakers
are adhering to formula. But what about Cece, only heir to her grandmother's
voodoo secrets, who at one point uses her limited knowledge to slow Ray down?
Why, aside from her color, would she die so soon, and in the expected order
of casualties, when her journey would have distingished this film from a hundred
others? And what about Ray's illegitimate son, Sean? A big deal is made about
his unresolved anger at his father, who has never had anything to do with him,
and who (it is discovered mid-film) secretly gave a damn about him all along.
Wouldn't it have been just a little bit different to make Sean a conflicted
protagonist, instead of an early victim? Of course it would have. There may
not have ever been any chance of this thing ever being anything but a throwaway,
dopey slasher film, but following either of these threads would have given it
some distinction, maybe even made it memorable. It's just too bad the screenwriters
weren't up to it, and settled for filling in the blanks in a game of Dead Teenager
Mad Libs. "
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Monday, September 26, 2005 - 05:04 pm:   

The STRINGS review runs today.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 09:45 am:   

Just completed: my Scifiweekly Review of John Krawlzik's murder-on-Titan film,
ASCENSION. Excerpt.

It fully embodies the sense that this particular future sucks. That, alas, is
one of one of its major problems. Hopelessness and tedium are, after all, difficult
qualities to dramatize if you don't want to just create more. It has been managed
brilliantly, in the past (by, among others, Stanley Kubrick, namesake of the
award this film won at the Long Island Film Festival), but the trick remains
hard to pull off, and ASCENSION doesn't quite manage it. The three principals
are so walled off, so determinedly not connecting with another , even in a sex
scene more driven by desperation than any actual passion, that none ever come
to life as characters. The long silences between them communicate only that
these people are already lost to us, and perhaps not worth knowing.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2005 - 08:07 am:   

Just completed, for Scifiweekly: my review of the DVD of Season 4 of ALIAS. I was a major fanatic about the show in its first and second seasons, but it has rebooted itself three times now, and (while still possessing points of interest), seems to have jumped the shark. Excerpt:

"Season 4 of the once great J.J. Abrams series, which begins by rebooting for the third time, requires us to believe the absolutely impossible. Not only does the United States Government willingly place the known terrorist and traitor Arvin Sloane (Rifkin) in charge of one of its own spy agencies, but it staffs that agency with people who have ample reason to want him dead. Given his responsibility for the past brutal murders or attempted murders of their loved ones, it's impossible to believe that Sydney Bristow (Garner), Jack Bristow (Garber), or Marcus Dixon (Lumbly), would consent to this arrangement, even if the show attempts to have it both ways by having them regularly march into his office to remind him how much they hate him. It's particularly hard to swallow in one episode where, for Nadia's sake, everybody gathers for a friendly, congenial dinner with the man. They should be trying to stab him in the eye with forks. (Or sporks, given that the utensil in question is used for emergency eye surgery, in one of the few genuinely memorable episodes here.)"
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2005 - 08:08 am:   

Also: I believe my review of the East German sf film, IN THE DUST OF THE STARS, with its villain who regularly spray-paints his own head, will run today.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 08:13 am:   

So far today: 800 words, Scifiweekly Review of the George Reeves ADVENTURES
OF SUPERMAN Season One DVD set. I was surprised how well these episodes stood
up, especially the full cut of the 1951 theatrical film, "Superman and the Mole
Men." Excerpt:

"In one disconcerting episode, "The Stolen Costume," Superman finds the pair
of minor criminals who have discovered his secret identity and abandons them
at the top of a snow-capped mountain, assuring them that they will stay there
until he can figure out what to do with them. He does tell them that there's
"plenty of food" in "the cabin," and assures them that he will feed them as
long as they remain his prisoners. But he's not at all bothered when they fall
to their deaths during a misbegotten attempt to climb down. He even smiles,
afterward. In his eyes, it's enough that this takes care of the problem."
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 05:03 am:   

My reviews of the Val Lewton boxed set, and of the Superman boxed set, are both up.

Just handed in my review of the DVD for the restored, original King Kong, and another for the complete series AMERICAN GOTHIC.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

jeff ford
Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 05:10 am:   

Adam-Troy: I clearly remember that one where superman strands the couple on the mountain and then smiles when they try to get down and fall to their deaths. My brother and I used to get a kick out of that. Did you catch the one where he somehow gets the ability to pass through walls? I was just thinking about that one the other day as I was driving home from work. OK, gotta check your review.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 05:50 am:   

I recall that one too.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 08:46 am:   

Just sent my website editor the following links, reflecting reviews since May:

MOVIES / DVDS

King Kong DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/current/screen2.html

Val Lewton Horror Collection DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue449/screen2.html

Adventures of Superman Season One DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue448/screen2.html

Alias Season 4 DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue447/screen2.html

In the Dust of the Stars DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue443/screen2.html

Strings DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue440/screen4.html

Lost Season One DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue437/screen2.html

They Came Back DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue435/screen3.html

The Stone Raft DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue434/screen2.html

Immortal DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue433/screen3.html

The Root Of All Evil: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue430/screen2.html

Twilight Zone The '80s Season Two and Three DVD:http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue429/screen3.html

Tomorrow People Set One DVD:http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue426/screen3.html

Quatermass DVD:http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue423/screen3.html

Sapphire and Steel Complete Series DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue421/screen4.html

Lone Gunmen Complete Series DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue418/screen.html

Spectres DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue416/screen3.html

Red Dwarf Series 6 DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue414/screen3.html

Red Dwarf Series 5 DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue408/screen2.html

Greatest American Hero Season One DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue411/screen3.html



MOVIES I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HATED

It Came From Somewhere Else DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue441/screen4.html

Venom http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue439/screen3.html

Flesh-Eating Mothers DVD: http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue432/screen3.html

The Suckling DVD (Especially!): http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue424/screen2.html
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 10:23 am:   


In between AMAZING RACE work, have posted my review of the TIME TUNNEL Vol 1
DVD. The show doesn't even come close to holding up. Excerpt:

"No, what makes these old shows so hard to take, nowadays, is the episodic-tv
aesthetic of the time, which all too often didn't see any reason to give action
protagonists like Newman and Phillips any inner lives, oe personalities beyond
the stolid determination they needed to proceed from one situation to the next.
These guys don't have senses of humor. They don't have any quirks, or any warmth.
They don't have lives they miss back home. They don't get irritated at one
another, they don't succumb to feelings of hopelessness, they don't ever say
anything interesting, and they don't ever give us a reason to care. The closest
they ever come to emotion is a sort of vague, generic tension, less a function
of their own performances than the impression left by the ersatz sweat sprayed
on the actors' foreheads between takes. Maybe that's why those outfits don't
start to smell. These people are plastic and have no pores."
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 01:55 pm:   

American Gothic DVD review is up today.

Add Your Message Here
Post:
Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Password:
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message
Action:

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | User List | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration