Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Flowers and Movies in May...

I've acquired a bunch of great new additions over the last three weeks or so: now - if only I could dedicate time to watch them! :)

Check out the initial listings and thoughts below and be sure to post your comments - after all, that's what it's for!

-- HARSH REALM: This was a series by X-files Chris Carter that just never really got a chance nor the opportunity to collect an audience. Sadly I think that's one of the most significant hallmarks in today's attention-span-challenge entertainment industry that is just so maddening.

For those completely unfamiliar, "HARSH REALM" is a series following Lt. Hobbes who volunteers to test the army's newest tool, a virtual reality training machine code named "Harsh Realm." Once attached to the machine, Hobbes discovers that the VR world is controlled by the renegade soldier Omar Santiago. While Hobbes body remains in a coma, his mind lives on in the VR world, where he must join forces with an underground force in their attempt to overthrow Santiago. It was the great white hope of Fox for the 1999 season and was basically a hybrid of "The Matrix" and "The X-Files" bringing not only many of the character actors and vision that makes both of those original pieces of science fiction americana.

Those of you quick to crap on this series should remember that it is FULL of stars, including one of our favorite recent stars, Terry O'Quinn who plays "Locke" on the successful "LOST" franchise. The draw in general to buying this set of discs is very simple: In addition to liking the "VR for the Military" concept, this series of DVDs offers its viewers not only the three episodes that were aired on television, but six additional, never-before-seen episodes into the mix.

I look forward to checking them out soon.

-- House of Flying Daggers/TheOne Two Pack: Paving the way for the best way to get two great films, Walmart offered this great two-pack together for 8 bucks each. The One is a movie that we saw and liked very much in the theater and offers a super commentary track that I had started listening to late the other nite. A little tease on the review for that: did you know that THE ROCK was supposed to play "The One" instead of Jet Li? The entire movie's action set was completely re-written to offer an appropriate showcase for Li who's fighting style is completely different. Interesting what you find listening to Feature Commentaries, isn't it? The House of Flying Daggers got such RAVE reviews from both Ebert and Roeper that it needed to get seen. We haven't had the opportunity to do so yet, but look forward to seeing a great and critically acclaimed movie.

-- National Treasure: Saturday evening before Mother's Day this year offered a special couple of hours when we viewed "National Treasure" which debuted in November and sadly was eclipsed by the cavalcade of films that hit the streets towards the later months of last year. I went to see it with friends from ATLAS last year and while I have an inate revulsion reflex for Nick Cage in general, I found him at least watchable in this one. It has a lot of great story, historic tie-betweens, and humor and it really ties an entertaining story up for you. We enjoyed this movie a lot more on DVD at home and the disc has some great features. I'll try to get a review set for viewing in the next couple of weeks.

-- Blade: Trinity: I'm not sure if it's paying homage to the progenerator of modern comic book movies, or if I just like vampire-action films, but this was a delight to buy and add to the mix of my collection. Blade: Trinity offers a third installment of the not nearly as popular as Spiderman, Batman or Superman anti-bloodsucking-hero, and it's well put together. I look forward to this review as well as listening to the commentary from director David Goyer and several teams of special effects artists.