Halloween Scene: Fright Night (2011)

I know a lot of people love the original Fright Night, I’m just not one of them. I don’t hate the movie and know I’ve seen it a time or two, but the last time I tried watching it on Netflix Instant however long ago, I turned it off because I was bored. I can’t remember now why I was bored, but I just wasn’t interested and dipped out. So, when I heard the news that it was getting remake, I didn’t really care and not just because I think people who get all bent out of shape about remakes need something real in their lives to worry about instead of movies.

Anyway, I was curious. I heard good things and the cast  is pretty stacked with Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Toni Collette, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and David Tennant. So, I bumped it to the top of my Netflix DVD queue when October hit. And, man, did I have a good time watching this movie.

The story is kind of a sped up combination of Lost Boys and Rear Window as Yelchin’s character comes to terms with the very real truth that his neighbor Jerry is actually a vampire. His buddy Mintz-Plasse tries to tell him and the he tries to convince his mom (Collette) and girlfriend (the wonderful Imogen Poots) to varying degrees of success until the truth can no longer be denied. You’ve also got Tennant playing an occult loving Vegas magician in the vein of Criss Angel.

Like I said, I don’t remember much about the original flick, but I seem to remember the structure of this film being pretty similar. But, this time around things move FAST. I wasn’t watching the clock, but I want to say by the 30 minute mark we knew Farrell was a vampire, a few people had been killed/turned and Yelchin has learned about Farrell by sneaking into his house. I don’t know if this flick would work as well for a novice horror fan, but for one who’s seen a lot of these movies, it moves along at a great clip. For that alone I’d dig this flick, but you add in a stellar cast, some mostly good effects (friggin’ CGI blood splatter needs to go away forever) and a solid budget and I’m all in for this movie.

Just Finished Doctor Who The End Of Time

As anyone who read my post about Torchwood’s awesomeness knows, the missus and I have been waiting on the second disc of Doctor Who: The End Of Time for months. We got the first disc and sat on it because we have enough trouble remembering the last season we watched and what happened and just wanted to view the whole thing in one sitting on our awesome TV that’s actually being compeltely un-awesome and not getting along with our cable. Anyway, it plays DVDs, so we didn’t have any problems once we FINALLY got the second disc on Saturday.

So the big question is, was it worth the wait? Pretty much. Of course, I think we both could have watched David Tennant’s last episodes when they first came out on BBC America and followed that up with the new season, but as we don’t have said channel and don’t want to watch on our computer, we had to wait.

Let’s call this SPOILER TERRITORY if you’re like me and haven’t seen the ending yet (which, now that I think about it, is probably my fault, so double sorry). The plot of this special seemed kind of all over the place, but it completely worked. First the Ood are evolving too fast, then there’s a cult and the Master’s back, then they die and he’s all jacked up, then the Master and Doctor fight, then Donna’s grandpa talks with the Doctor again after seeing some woman–who I think was Donna from the future somehow, though I have no idea how that would work out time-wise–, then the rich people have a gate and the Master uses it to turn everyone into himself, then Timothy Dalton’s talking to the Time Lord’s senate (not the only Star Wars reference this episode), then the Master turns almost everyone on Earth into copies of himself, then the Time Lords are coming, then they do come and Timothy Dalton waves his hand and the Earth people are back to being themselves, then fighting and shooting and planets moving around and radiation and goodbyes being said (kinda) and then A NEW DOCTOR. Whew, gotta catch by breath after all that.

Even with all that going on, I felt like it was a really well put together finale for Tennant’s Doctor, though I wish he hadn’t complained so much to Donna’s grandpa. Kind of makes him sound like a bitch even if what he said was understandable. I liked the moments with him popping around and seeing everyone before he took off, especially because it involved seeing Captain Jack in a space cantina. I really can’t get enough of space cantina scenes. Every movie should have one.

I guess that’s a good segue into the obvious references in the special. The other really obvious Star Wars reference is when the green cactus man and Donna’s grandpa jump into the spaceship’s laser cannons and start blasting away. Then, later, when the Doctor gets his radiation dosing, there was some of Spock’s death in there. I don’t mean to say they’re complete lifts from those movies, but I don’t think it would be beyond the realm of possibilities for the Who writers to have thrown those bits in there as homages to other high points in sci-fi.

So, all in all, I’ve got to say that I liked Tennant a lot as the Doctor. I was skeptical at first because I liked Eccleston so much and, though I had a hard time caring about the third season with Martha (why is she so much cooler now that she’s not the Doctor’s companion?), the fourth season really brought me back. I’ve heard good things about this new kid and while the missus hates him for not being Tennant, I’m excited to see what he can do. I just hope it doesn’t take months to get caught up with that. Anyone know when the DVDs will be out or if they’ll be on Netflix Instant?

Photoshop Fun: Who The Boss

Where do old Doctors go when they regenerate? Well, to Photoshop mash-ups starring 80s sitcoms of course. Way simpler than my last Photoshop project, this was simply a matter of isolating David Tennant’s head from this photo and popping it on this Who’s The Boss pic. Easy peasy (is that how you spell that?). What I love most about this combination is that they Who’s The Boss cast all look like they might actually be seeing a Dalek or one of the Doctor’s other enemies. Angela’s screaming, Mona’s eyes are huge, Sam looks protective AND interested and Jonathan totally wants to put him in a basket and ride his bike around.

Just Finished Doctor Who Season 4 (2008)

After being thoroughly disappointed by the third season of Doctor Who, I wasn’t super excited to watch the fourth. But as the missus didn’t dislike it nearly as much as I did, we continued on, though not quite as quickly as we did through the other seasons. But, damn, I’m glad we did, because the fourth season of Doctor Who is up there with the first as a favorite in my book. From bringing Donna back into the fold to aliens made of human fat and killer cars to one of the greatest team-up finales of all time, I had a fantastic time this season. I think I liked it so much because the writers seemed to be exploring new territory or at least not as old and tired territory as the previous season, and, considering you’ve got another encounter with a famous author, that’s saying something.

I wasn’t super jazzed about checking out the Roman empire in “The Fires Of Pompeii,” but even that was a pretty entertaining episode. After that, though, things really kicked up a few notches. Throughout the previous season, I spent a good deal of time reading comics and trades while the shows were playing, but season four’s episodes kept me mostly glued to the screen. I will say that Donna living two fake lives so close together in the episodes “Forest Of The Dead” and “Turn Left” was a little boring because, as any longtime fan of sci-fi knows, these episodes don’t really have much lasting effect. I get the idea that the character is supposed to remember that extra life for the rest of theirs, but it’s a little strange seeing two of them two episodes apart. I did like seeing how things would have changed if Donna didn’t show up. It was very “It’s A Wonderful Life” but I didn’t even notice until writing about it the next day.

“The Doctor’s Daughter,” “Silence In The Library,” “Forest Of The Dead,” “Midnight,” “Turn Left,” “The Stolen Earth” and “Journey’s End” were all stellar episodes, especially those last two. I kind of figured that Rose would be involved after popping up in strange ways throughout the season, but by also including Martha, Captain Jack and the Torchwood crew, Sarah Jane and her son, the former prime minister, those Rhino guys, the Shadow Proclamation, Micky, Rose’s mom, a Doctor clone, Daleks, Davors and K9 was RAD. I’d say this is up there with one of my favorite season finales of all time. Loved it and it also made me want to check out Torchwood and maybe Sarah Jane Adventures.

Also, real quick, I didn’t think I would like Donna as The Doctor’s companion, but she grew on me very quickly. In fact, her goodness made me realize how kind of boring Martha was. She was cool popping up here and there this season as this badass, but she was rarely like that last season.

So, the Christmas special is up at the top of our Netflix queue and the next special is on Instant. The final two will be released on the 2nd. I’m not sure if they’ll be disc-only or on instant. Does anyone know why some Doctor Who stuff is on instant and some isn’t? I want to check out some of the old stuff, but the very first batch is on disc only and there’s a lot of other newer DVDs I want to check out. Also, if you’re curious to see what’s available on Netflix, check out this handy dandy blogpost over on Netflix that lists every Doctor Who episode and series in order and offers up links for whatever’s available on DVD or instant.

So, when does season five start airing over here?

Just Finished: Doctor Who Season 3 (2007)

Going into the third season of Doctor Who I was pretty excited. Em wasn’t so sure if she was going to like The Doctor’s new companion Martha Jones, but I was looking forward to getting to know her. And hey, I liked her. Here’s the problem though, the rest of the season felt mostly flat and like a retread of previous episodes. “The Runaway Bride” was interesting, the first two official episodes of the season were okay, introducing Martha and putting a hospital on the moon. “The Shakespeare Code” felt kind of like the previous episode with Dickens. “Gridlock” was interesting, but it was yet another episode in the year 5 billion and yet another episode where humanity was easily duped into becoming sheep, driving sheep, but still sheep. Even so, I did still like the episode. The Daleks in New York was an interesting idea that shouldn’t have been a two-parter in my opinion, though the idea of a Dalek/human hybrid was cool. “The Lazarus Experiment” didn’t offer much of anything to interest me, “42” felt a lot like that episode where they were on a spacestation that was falling into nothingness and the two-parter where The Doctor thought he was just a regular person was so excruciatingly annoying I could barely stand it. Taking The Doctor out of the equation completely and making him a weenie was just annoying, not dramatic. The only good thing about that episode was seeing the drummer kid from Love Actually, a movie I love.

Things seemed to take a turn for the better with the killer angel statues and altered manner of storytelling in “Blink” and then in the first two episodes of the three part finale, but I had a lot of problems with the actual last episode of the season.This one’s tiny, but why does The Doctor shrink when The Master ages him, do Time Lords’ bones shrink as they age? The whole thing with the world saying “Doctor” was a little lame and reminded me of those scenes in Spider-Man 1 and 2 where New Yorkers saves Spider-Man or like love saving the world in The Matrix. It’s about time humanity actually did something to save itself though. I also don’t get The Doctor being all broken up about The Master’s death. The whole “but he/she’s the last of my kind aside from me” thing only goes so far. I can see Superman wanting to hang out with another Kryptonian if they weren’t genocide-inducing maniacs, but iIf a Kryptonian serial killer was all that was left, I don’t think Superman would opt to keep him in his apartment. The whole thing just seemed disingenuous to me, but it offered the Master an awesome opportunity to stick it to the pansy doctor before dying. All I’m saying is that Christopher Eccleston wouldn’t be sobbing. I was bummed out that I didn’t 100% like this finale, but it just fell on its face at the end for me, though I did like the Face of Boe thing at the very end and want to check out Torchwood.

I have a few other random questions at this point. First off, was the whole Time War/last of the Time Lords thing around from the beginning of the series, or was that something that they brought up for the new series? Also, why was the Doctor so precise in his maneuvering of time when it came to Martha, but not Rose? I figured time must be a tricky thing to handle, but considering the overarching story needed it to be tighter this season, it just feels like it was something the writers changed because it didn’t fit the story anymore. They were always getting lost or coming back a year later with Rose!

And finally, I’m starting to have a problem with the philosophy behind the show. At first I thought it was like Star Trek which had an optimistic view point on humanity in the future. Humans not only joined a federation of aliens, but also focused their efforts on exploring the deepest, darkest reaches of space. That’s a positive message. And Doctor Who seemed to start off like that with all the talk of how great humans were at going out and adapting to new worlds, even mixing species. But that’s just what we’re told. You know what we’re shown? Humans being easily fooled by any alien race that comes along with an even remotely reasonable story to tell us. We’ll basically believe what anyone tells us and give them whatever they want to take from us. Oh, or we get enslaved. And what saves the day? Another alien. Sure, humans sometimes have something to do with it, like saying a word, but it’s not exactly the bill of goods I was sold in the beginning of the show.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten all that off my chest, I’m ready for the next season.

Just Finished: Doctor Who Season 2 (2006)

After burning through season one in two days, I’m sure it’s no surprise that we made our way through the second in four or five (stupid work gets in the way). Everyone said that the second season was a lot better, but I’m not so sure, they’re both at a pretty high level in my mind. I guess now everyone who’s caught up is getting used to the idea of a new Doctor, but I’m still kind of swooning for Christopher Eccleston. Don’t get me wrong, I like David Tennant’s take on the Doc a lot, I guess that just comes with the Doctor Who territory.

Overall, I thought this was a really solid season, that retained all the elements I liked from the first season (heart, doing well with limited resources and genuinely creepy villains). There was one episode that stuck out though that I didn’t really like: “Fear Her.” It just didn’t make any sense to me. Why did the little girl have to draw the people to make them disappear? She’s not that good of an artist, so who’s to say she’s not making every little kid with brown hair disappearing? How does drawing a picture of the world count? In a series that usually makes a lot of sense, this episode just seemed kind of slapped together. Also, exactly how many of these episodes are about humanity letting some alien race trick them into complacency? There’s been a ton so far.

Aside from that though, good stuff all around. I liked the Torchwood “mystery” throughout the season, though I already knew what it was. To be honest, I still have no idea how Rose is the big bad wolf or whatever from the first season. I get that she has a connection to the Doctor, but how does that translate into her being a wolf? If anyone understands, please let me know. Anyway, I’m looking forward to also checking out the Torchwood show.

Mickey had a really good arc this season too. I’m glad they did something with him instead of just letting him sit around and bitch. Which brings me to the two part finale “Army Of Ghosts” and “Doomsday.” Man, that was a crazy ass couple of episodes. Cyberman AND Daleks? Nice! The way he took them out seemed a little easy (especially with millions of Daleks popping out of that prison, but how could you not get a little choked up when Rose disappeared into the other dimension with her not-dad or later when the Doctor ran out of time to say “I love you.” Good stuff. I’ll miss Billie Pipers hotness and spirit, but I’m glad she got a relatively happy ending (though Em didn’t like it and cried a little).

A few questions for established Who fans. Does anyone else think that the two-parters tend to drag? It seems so to me with a few exceptions. Also, has a time-traveling Doctor ever run into a past version of himself? I know there have been episodes with past Doctors meeting up somehow, but is it theoretically possible that, say, Tennant could travel to a time when his past self in the form of say, the guy with the girl hair and scarf is also at? Just curious.