Add to Queue #62: The “drop shadow” edition

[[image:a2q081028_header.jpg:Buncha fairies.:center:0]]
Media | A2Q Archives | A2Q #62 | October 27, 2008: Welcome to Add to Queue, Levi’s round-up of this week’s US home video release highlights. Sorry, rest of the world. Region locks are the industry’s way of saying they still don’t understand the Internet. But on the flip side, I’m sure watching our horribly broken election process is way more entertaining than any of this week’s movies.

Out This Week

[[image:a2q081028_dead.jpg:Dead Space: Downfall:left:0]] Dead Space: Downfall

Downfall is a video game movie. Wait! Don’t run away! This isn’t your typical video game movie made years after the fact by a film producer eager to make a quick buck off of “gamers.” EA decided early on that the video game Dead Space was a franchise that could expand to other media. Along with a tie-in graphic novel, they’ve commissioned an animated prequel. I have no idea if it’s any good (and somehow I sort of doubt it), but there were some very interesting storyline hooks in the game. So if you were a fan of the story (or just a fan of excessive gore), it’s probably worth a rental — which is more than can be said for the drivel gamers are normally given. Max Payne springs to mind.

[[image:a2q081028_hell.jpg:Hell Ride:left:0]] Hell Ride

Arriving with Quentin Tarantino’s seal of approval, Hell Ride is first and foremost a “B movie”. I’m not saying that in a derogatory way; it’s kind of the whole point of the film. Legend has it that Tarantino told director Larry Bishop that it was Bishop’s destiny to write, direct, and star in a movie, and that Tarantino would produce it. A throwback to the motorcycle movies Bishop was making in the 1960s, this isn’t like Grindhouse in that’s an homage to low-budget exploitation features: it just is a low-budget exploitation movie.

[[image:a2q081028_journey.jpg:Journey to the Center of the Earth:left:0]] Journey to the Center of the Earth

I’m pretty sure the only reason to watch this was if you could see it digitally projected, and even then, only if you’re not sick of the 3D gimmick yet. Since most homes aren’t set up for a high-quality 3D movie-viewing experience, I’d say just skip it. Poor Brendan Fraser. He was in one of my favorite movies, Gods and Monsters, but that seems like an accident looking at the rest of his, uh, oeuvre.

[[image:a2q081028_tinker.jpg:Tinker Bell:left:0]] Tinker Bell

The head of the Disney direct-to-DVD division lost his job because of problems with this film, including a budget that ballooned to over fifty million dollars and endless versions of the script and a bunch of different attached directors. John Lasseter, the Pixar animation executive who was given control over Disney Feature Animation, apparently called the film “virtually unwatchable” and said that releasing it would damage the Disney brand and the line of Fairies toys the film was produced to support. This movie was apparently so atrocious that many Disney watchers claimed that Disney was getting out of the direct-to-video business altogether. And now it’s coming out! And it’s the first of four! It’s doubtful the movie has been significantly improved, so why release it at all? I guess it’s comforting to know that Disney hasn’t totally given up whoring out all their beloved characters onto home video for a quick buck. Get ready for Snow White Part 4: The Whitening!

Cover art courtesy of Amazon. Second star to the right and straight on till morning. Follow me on Twitter. You can also e-mail me at vsrobot [dot] blog [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks for reading!

15 thoughts on “Add to Queue #62: The “drop shadow” edition

  1. For what it’s worth, the Dead Space flick is lowest-common-denominator drek. It feels like low-budget Cartoon Network material. Except, you know, with cursing and gratuitous violence. You may rent it based on your interest in the game, but don’t expect it to give you any positive reason to pick up any of the other supplemental material.

    I still can’t get over the car-lot balloon men reference. This movie only strengthens your analogy.

  2. >Get ready for Snow White Part 4: The Whitening!
    Disney is apparently getting out of the family-friendly movie business, eh?

  3. I can answer your question on Tinker Bell at least. When you spent so much on the stupid thing, you may as well get some back out of it, even if it’s considered pretty bad and will doubtlessly be watched by few people anyway.

    tl;dr: $5 is better than $0

  4. I was so disappointed by Gods & Monsters. I watched all the Universal Monster movies in anticipation (I got the legacy box set with the figurines and everything), but the film wasn’t about James Whale the director; it was about James Whale the homo. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but that’s not what I wanted to see!

  5. Tinkerbell and friends look those Bratz dolls in that picture. I take it Sleeping Beauty was released last week so that people would pass over this one?

  6. It was sad watching Lasseter in a promotional video for the Tinker Bell movie. His words were enthusiastic, but his expression was just dead. I think that might have been the same promotional video in which one of the fairies’ arms phased through the torso of her friend at one point. Ugh.

    What bothers me more than the fact that she talks now is that she’s nice. Why is she nice?! The only interesting thing about Tinker Bell was that she wasn’t nice at all. She was a jealous little jerk.

  7. No harm, no foul. I was just joking, really. But there do seem to be a lot of Alexes (Alexi?) here. There’s me, you, Alex, and I think Alex Scott.

  8. It’s not so much that they are releasing this despite all the internal drama it caused, but the fact that they are going to go ahead and make three sequels. :(

  9. Alex B: They totally ruined the character of Tinkerbell. Now she talks? That’s like when they gave the Pink Panther a voice, and Tom and Jerry.

  10. Perhaps as a result of “endless versions of the script” they managed to get enough material for all the sequels. Have to use every part of the buffalo.

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