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“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Wednesday, February 09, 2005
    All I Wanna Do
    Is Check my Netflix Queue

    Last weekend two things happened: my new sofa was delivered and I got my first shipment of Netflix DVDs. That's why I haven't been posting. Yes, I know I'm late to the party, but - whoo hoo! - Movies! That come to you in the mail!

    Here's what I watched: Hellboy, Chronicles of Riddick, and Van Helsing. It was a blood and thunder weekend. A quick roundup:

    Hellboy is definitely the best of the three. If you haven't seen it, get it. It's a pleasure to see Ron Pearlman get to play a leading role, and he does a really good job here. The character of Liz, the firestarter, could have used a little more energy and a lot less Thorazine, but overall I was happy with this one. I saw it in the theater last year and enjoyed rewatching it.

    Riddick was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't expecting much and really rented it because Colm Feore was in it, but Vin Diesel is not bad. He's got a fair amount of screen presence and looks good in a wife-beater shirt. Apparently his character has a wicked case of cataracts - he has cloudy eyes that allow him to see in the dark. The best sequence in the movie deals with a prison breakout on the planet Crematoria, where it's 700 degrees in the daytime and 300 below zero at night: Watching the characters try to beat the sunrise made for a suspenseful chase. And Feore, of course, is great fun to watch. He gets to wear cool armor and a cape and play the charming bad guy and is clearly having a blast. My favorite line of his: "It's been a long time since I've seen my own blood."

    The big surprise in this one was Judi Dench. Yes, that Judi Dench! What the hell was she doing in this? I amused myself wondering what she'd bought with her paycheck for this movie - new dining room set? A trip to Bermuda, perhaps? She played an Elemental - some sort of neutral observer who can become invisible, tell the future, and various other things.

    Last was Van Helsing. Not good, this one. It was watchable but so incoherent I still have no idea what the plot was. Dracula was involved, also werewolves and the Frankenstein monster. Hugh Jackman is Van Helsing, with some sort of mysterious past that is never revealed (we're led to believe that his memory has been wiped). He roams to and fro killing monsters for the Catholic Church, assisted by some woman in a bustier and high heels (in19th-century Romania... yeah, that's authentic. Not.) and a friar named Carl who appears to be a cross between Q from the James Bond series and Marty Feldman's character from Young Frankenstein. Lame, but nice photography and special effects.

    I may be subjecting you to many more of these reviews... I went wild listing movies in the queue.



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