By: Henry J. Fromage –
This week I took trips- several to the stars themselves, another to a twisted kingdom of animation, and finally the first so bad it’s good Netflix show.
202. The Flying Fish
I was contacted by a filmmaker from Turkey and decided on a whim to go ahead and review his animated short film. It’s both more polished and technically skilled than I’d anticipated, and impossibly pretentious. I’ll say one thing- I was never bored. Four Beers.
203. The I-Land
This is that so-bad-it’s-good show. Neil LaBute of the Nicholas Cage Wicker Man fame made a Lost knock-off with the loose change found in Netflix’s couch and Adam Pettyfer’s blank stares, and it’s glorious. I dare you to watch one episode and stop there. Six Pack.
204. Ad Astra
Space Journey #1 was to the outer edges of our solar system and a very emotionally restrained Brad Pitt (and his Tommy Lee Jones-shaped daddy issues). James Gray crafts an impeccable vision of a space-faring near future and Brad Pitt delivers one of the subtlest, finest performances of his career in a film that really sticks in your brain (even if it is a bit slow in the middle). Two Beers.
Space Journey #2 is this Italian-made Star Wars rip-off that features plenty of skimpy outfits, clunky alien & robot costumes and special effects, and a really stunningly pretty young David Hasselhoff. Oh yeah, and literally zero narrative coherence to be point of drooling boredom. Not as fun as it sounds. Six Pack.
206. Battle Beyond the Stars
This other contemporary rip-off of Star Wars, however, is plenty of fun. Roger Corman does what he does- throws a small-to-moderate budget at some young and hungry filmmakers and creatives (including a very young James Cameron and Bill Paxton, both working in the production design department) and riff on recognizable IP (Star Wars, yes, but also The Magnificent Seven/Seven Samurai). The results are surprisingly entertaining (yes, the comparison basis with Starcrash almost certainly played a part). Three Beers.