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Doogan's Views at The Digital Bits!
page added: 1/27/03



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Blood Work

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Blood Work
2002 (2002) - Warner Bros.

I love Clint. But this movie shouldn't have been made. My God is it obvious who the killer is! Why this wasn't reshaped to be a Dirty Harry film, or at least fiddled with to be a better film is beyond me. Clint is an FBI profiler, hot on the trailer of a murderer, when he has a heart attack and suddenly needs a transplant. He soon gets one... and once he gets back on his feet, he finds out that his "benefactor" might have had ulterior motives. Telling you any more than that would be to ruin the film more than it already ruins itself. Clint, at least, is good here. But I'm sorry, Blood Work is just not a good film. The best extra on this thing is an interview with the cast on the state of Latinos in American cinema. It's worth a watch... but not before you check out the film itself, because plenty is given away.

Doogan Says: C-




Noir: Shades of Darkness - Volume 1

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Noir: Shades of Darkness - Volume 1
2001 (2003) - ADV Films

This Anime, set in near-futuristic France, tells the story of Mireille Bouquet, an assassin with a painful past. Mireille hooks up with the enigmatic Kirika Yuumura, whose own past is so shady it's black (or, as the French say, noir). Kirika is working with Mireille to unravel the secrets of her life - what happened before she woke up in a room with no knowledge of who she was or what she was supposed to do. Mireille agrees to help, under one condition: she'll kill Kirika once the secrets are revealed. This is a pretty good (and very fun) anime produced for Japanese TV in 2001. Although I'm not a big fan of the drawn out, series-styled anime, this one is up there with Eva and Blue Seed. It looks like there will be six or seven volumes in this set, and it should be a fun ride getting through them. Look for a new volume in April.

Doogan Says: A




Human Nature

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Human Nature
2001 (2002) - New Line

We're getting a lot of Charlie Kaufman this year, aren't we? There's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Adaptation... and this. "This" isn't the best of the three, but it is cute enough. Tim Robbins plays a scientist whose mother berated him so badly growing up that his whole belief system is based around manners - which he teaches to lab mice. Patricia Arquette is a woman whose entire body is covered in thick hair. She becomes one with nature and writes a series of best-selling books... and eventually tries to fit in with society. In doing so, she has her hair electronically removed. When the two meet, sparks fly, and on a trip in the woods they discover a man (Rhys Ifans) raised by his father to believe he was an ape. I know... it's pretty silly, but hang in there. Robbins believes that he can turn the young man, who he names "Puff", into a real civilized person using his table manner training. And with the help of his sexy French assistant (Two Towers' Miranda Otto), he succeeds... but at a terrible cost. There's much more to it, and the film is very watchable and quite good. It's in no way any better than Malkovich or the other two Kaufman-penned films currently in theaters, but fans of Kaufman will definitely love it. The DVD features very little in the way of extras, aside from the trailer.

Doogan Says: It's a solid B




fear dot com

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fear dot com
2002 (2003) - Warner Bros.

I wonder if Warner knew that they were remaking Ringu. How dastardly was this? In this day and age, the producers of this thing had to know that we American filmgoers have seen most of the good films in other countries by hook or by crook. Anyway, there's a cursed "thing" that corrupts its viewer with a "virus", an odd-looking girl who visits the "viewers" before they die and a time limit before they die equal to the time limit of the "monster". The best thing that could be said is that this film is actually slightly creepy, thanks to the director who also did the re-imagined House on Haunted Hill. But visuals don't make a film good, and the fact that this film ripped off a Japanese flick without any acknowledgment makes me say it's not worth your time. That's especially when the superior Japanese version will be out this year from DreamWorks. Same with their official remake, The Ring, which is also way better than this. Extras here include a commentary track, which okay, and a really odd deleted scene involving mushroom people. Yeah, I said mushroom people. For horror fans, I can't keep you away. But for everyone else, it's not worth your time.

Doogan Says: I give it a D




Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever

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Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
2002 (2002) - Warner Bros.

Uhg. You know, there's nothing worse than a by-the-book action film. When there's no passion either in the action, direction or acting, you've got a recipe for boredom. No one cares in the film, the fight scenes are over choreographed, the acting is so minimal it could have been done with department store mannequins and the direction is so obvious that Michael Bay looks like Fellini in comparison. And you know what? Everyone involved in this film deserved more. This is a dumb movie. It's not worth your time, and it really should have been. I mean, it has one of the greatest shots of a man falling from a building... and you get that in the trailer, so there's no reason to waste your time. What's it about you ask? Banderas is an agent who has lost everything and is sucked into a game to stop an assassination technique that could change the world of espionage, as we know it. When a rival agent gets involved, they're in a competition against each other to stop the bad guys before everything goes all-cockeyed. Sure, there's more to it, and you've got sub-plots out the ass, but it just doesn't matter because the whole affair is boring beyond words.

Doogan Says: F (I'm not kidding, it's that bad)




Grand Tour: Disaster in Time

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Grand Tour: Disaster in Time
1991 (2002) - Anchor Bay

I don't know much about the history of this film, but it HAD to be made-for-TV. It just has that feel. Jeff Daniels plays the standard grieving dad, having lost his wife years before. As he renovates an old run-down inn, he's visited by a group of very beautiful, very thin and very odd people, who claim they are tourists. And as the weirdness piles up, Daniels learns that these people are from the future... and that they visit disasters from the past in order to experience them first-hand, because their own society is so perfect and boring. Grand Tour is actually a quite competent film, from the man who brought us Pitch Black and The Arrival. But if you're looking for anything more than a standard TV movie with a Sci-fi bend, you'll find it slightly boring. And if you're looking for more about broken innkeepers, keep reading 'cause our last flick features one as well.

Doogan Says: C+




Snow Queen

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Snow Queen
2002 (2003) - Hallmark (Artisan)

I don't usually fall for the Hallmark thing, but I have to say that Bridget Fonda looks pretty hot on the cover of this DVD. I don't know what it is, but she's awfully sexy in this flick. Too bad she isn't very good in the role. And it's not like she's a bad actor in it - she's not. It's just, she doesn't do ice queen very well. Loosely based on the Hans Christen Anderson tale, Snow Queen is about a young woman and her father, who basically stop living life after the sad death of her mother. They run an inn. One day a young man comes to work for them and the girl falls in love. Enter the Snow Queen, who steals the young man away so he can help repair a mirror that she needs to control the seasons. Undaunted, the girl travels through the various seasons to save her soul mate. The film's not really very good (I stopped watching it a variety of times). I can't really recommend it unless you like watered-down entertainment and bad acting (from everyone aside from Fonda). This disc contains a short "making of" featurette that includes really bad video transfers of the film.

Doogan Says: C-



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