Special Features B-
DVD Geek Factor 2.5 (out of 10)
This is probably the last of the Project Greenlight films produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and it's probably the best. That still doesn't make it any good.
Going for the gory horror-comedy vibe of '80s films like The Evil Dead, this one starts out awfully clever, then quickly goes downhill once the budget limitations become obvious. The plot involves a group of people stuck in a secluded bar besieged by carnivorous monsters that look hilariously cheap. The filmmakers resort to every camera and editing trick in the book to try to obscure the cheap action. Lots of shaky cam work keeps the viewer from deciphering what's going on, or seeing the silly-looking monsters.
It's a shame, because with a few more bucks, they may've had something here. There's a decent sense of humor and a passable cast that includes Jason Mewes (a nasty death awaits him) and Balthazar Getty. Some of the makeup work is OK, providing nice visuals for gore hounds.
In the end, this is an example of trying to do too much with too little. It's admirable that they tried to go all out on a miniscule budget, but this time, it didn't pay off.
Special Features: Deleted scenes, outtakes, a making-of documentary and a commentary ... lots of stuff for such a sucky movie.
Pet Sematary: Special Collector's EditionParamount Home Video
Special Features B-
DVD Geek Factor 6 (out of 10)
Here's another horror film that took a critical drubbing upon its release, yet has managed to live on as a sort of cult classic. Stephen King once declared that he would never allow this novel to be made into a film because it was too disturbing, but director Mary Lambert got a shot at it anyway, and the resulting film is twisted and funny. (King even makes a cameo as a priest.)
When an all-American family moves into a country home, everything seems ideal. It turns out that trucks speeding in front of their house all of the time result in the death of their cat, Church, and then their young son, Gage. The neighbor across the street (Fred Gwynne, in one of his last roles) suggests to the patriarch of the family (Dale Midkiff) that he bury the cat in a pet cemetery known to resurrect dead animals. He does this with scary results. When the little boy dies, dad buries the corpse in the same cemetery, and the kid comes back with a real bad attitude.
Yes, a film about a toddler killing his parents is in very bad taste, but Lambert manages to find a tone that makes it workable. It's scary and comical at the same time, and the child actor (Miko Hughes) does a damn fine job as the killer kid.
When I was running a discount theater in upstate New York, I managed to dump an entire print of Pet Sematary on the projection-room floor. I spent two days trying to salvage the print, which I managed to do, thanks to the help of my 80-year-old projectionist, who hated me from that day on. This has nothing to do with the movie, but it's a semi-decent story, don't you think?
There were rumors circulating recently that this film will be remade with George Clooney in the lead. Don't hold your breath for that one: The guy's an Oscar winner.
Special Features: Commentary by Lambert, and some well-done featurettes on the making of the movie make this worthwhile.
That's My Bush: The Definitive CollectionParamount Home Video
Special Features C+
DVD Geek Factor 7.25 (out of 10)
Shortly after George W. Bush got the job, Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of South Park) made him the subject of a Three's Company-type sitcom. There's a smarmy maid, a buxom blonde assistant, a wily best-friend neighbor who drops by the White House unannounced, etc. Apparently, the boys were working on a version that would've focused on Al Gore had he taken the presidency.
Timothy Bottoms stars as Bush, and rather than trying to completely impersonate the man, he portrays him through a sitcom-camera lens. Carrie Quinn Dolin does the same with Laura Bush, especially in an episode where she resorts to vodka in order to quit a psychic-telephone addiction. Other real-life characters portrayed include Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and, in an episode where Bush bans all guns to prevent being shot, Charlton Heston.
This is great fun to watch, and it constantly surprised me that this thing actually managed to get on TV (Comedy Central). It's good-natured satire, but a direct knock on the president that took guts to produce. The show was produced pre-Sept. 11, but it never took off.
Once Sept. 11 happened, any chance for this show returning at the time was vanquished.
Special Features: Parker and Stone provide their typical partial commentary while the cast also sits down to discuss the show on a separate track. That's it.