Friday, January 05, 2007

Camera Obscura - Best Movies of 2006; Who Is Uwe Boll; Movie News

A top movies of 2006 list is as easy to find as a bluegrass musician in Tennessee. As one friend says, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting one.

Last week I offered my picks for the movies I liked the best in 2006, though many were made in previous years, and I tend to see more these days on DVD. So this week, a peek at who will win Oscar nominations, a bona fide list of excellence in horror movies on DVD, and much more juicy and tasty takes on the world 'o movies. Read on!

The nominations from the Producer's Guild point to heavy-duty Oscar contenders - but missing is poor Clint Eastwood. Will the five movies picked by producers be the nominees for Best Picture? I imagine "Babel" will drop off the list, but I think the solid contenders are "The Departed," "The Queen", and "Dreamgirls". Their list is here.


Once again, I truly like the selections and opinions offered on horror movies via DVDStalk. They note the best horror on DVD releases from 2006, and they make some great selections, many of which I too have mentioned. One I did not mention, since I only saw the DVD was available last week is the deeply underrated "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" from creator/director Tobe Hooper. Aiming for comedy but still keeping the terror at high levels, the movie scores big with Bill Mosley and Dennis Hopper, a kicking soundtrack, and Hooper's goofy nightmare amusement park. And that opening scene will take yer head off!

Their pick for the best horror on DVD of 2006 - "The Descent". On my list to see this week, the movie gets truly high praise from all the fans and critics alike. And I do mean praise:

I'm telling you - horror freak to horror freak - The Descent is my favorite film of 2006 and easily one of the best horror films of the last ten years. I said it before, and I'll say it again - this is a must see film for any discerning horror fan."


Two new DVD releases make my mouth water -- both Season One and Two of the David Lynch TV series "Twin Peaks." Loaded with honest-to-pete extras and commentary, this was too long in arriving. Now the bad news -- not all the episodes are here!! For some reason, Warner's will not give the OK to release the 2-hour pilot on DVD. That is just stupid.

Me? I am one of the lucky ones - I have a commercial free copy of the pilot on VHS which ABC sent me in advance to review just before the show hit television and made history. Friends will confirm I eagerly took the tape to many many homes preaching the Gospel of it's Goodness.

The good news about the boxed sets: it arrives with a removable pic of the doomed Laura Palmer and the set is wrapped in plastic, just like Laura. Heh heh.


"I'm Christian Slater - Paranormal Detective"

That should have been the title of the truly godawful movie "Alone In The Dark" from heinous and infamous director Uwe Boll. I've tried at least 8 times to watch the entire movie and failed each time. Which means it does rank in my book as a movie so bad, it should carry FDA warnings. And yes, I keep saying "that's because I'm Christian Slater - Paranormal Detective" every time Slater speaks.

The movie may be the (so far) masterpiece of awful from Boll -- who is planning a sequel. And people from all walks of life really hate the man. Last summer, he challenged his critics to face him in a boxing ring. The results were surreal. How long will it be before someone makes a movie about Boll, rightly termed the Ed Wood of the 21st Century?

Truth is, I have never been able to watch an entire Boll film. "BloodRayne" (which he has now mapped out as a trilogy) is another choice entry of awful. What is stunning is how the actors involved - Ben Kingsley, Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Madsen - NEVER look at the camera, though you know they want to, with a look that says "Help Me!" They exhibit what's known in the biz as "Take the money and walk away ... quickly."

With the $60 million budget (??!!!??) for "Dungeon Siege" (Burt Reynolds?), Boll will surely lay claim to the throne as Worst Director in World History.

Words will never capture the discomfort his movies create in a viewer. Or the boredom. My advice, however, for an excellent time, is to get one or two of his movies, gather your friends, and make up your own running dialog as you watch. That, my friends, is deeply entertaining!


  1. james2:19 PM

    I have'nt seen Alone In The Darkso I can't judge,but I have seen Bllodrayne and it was awful.The comic is good though.Looking forward to The Decent.There is some good TV coming up,such as SCI-FI's The Dresden Files from author JIM BUTCHER.His books draw you in like an old Heinlin novel so I have high hopes for the TV series.

  2. They come like Laura... wrapped in plastic? That is so flippin' funny!

  3. Anonymous2:14 PM

    Twin Peaks is way too long in coming. I own almost all episodes on VHS - but having the DVDs will be wonderful. Curl up with a cup of joe - "black as midnight on a moonless beach", have a slice of cherry pie "that'll kill you" and watch with awe the wonder of Mr. Lynch and Mr. Frost as they change television forever.
    Haven't seen the Descent - but will definitely give it a try.

  4. You realize my love and admiration for you.
    Uwe, eeeew.

  5. James Gunn just today posted a myspace blog that mentioned Uwe Boll:

    "But, still, he's the kind of guy who pisses me off – not because he makes bad movies, but because he doesn't put his heart and soul into those films. He doesn't do any pre-production work, and he sits around on set with his BlackBerry letting other people lead the proceedings. I don't care if you make shitty movies. Ed Wood made shitty movies, but he gave a shit about what he was doing."

    Sums up my feelings nicely.

  6. Oh! And I'm coming over to your house to see that pilot on VHS. Put on the coffee, Joe!