I got out of work a bit early yesterday (3pm! I couldn’t believe it either), and A-dawg had the day off, so we decided it was a good day to watch movies (some of us were feeling a bit blah. Maybe both of us).
I’m sure I haven’t told you, but I bought the Netflix set-top box from Roku. I don’t know what came over me, but we had been watching Heroes: Season 2 on the computer, clustered around it like it was some kind of primitive campfire, and I started to think about buying an S-video cable to hook my machine up to the T.V. and … voila! Like a bolt from the blue, Roku hooked up the set-top for a not too bad price.
The setup for this thing is a breeze, by the way. Really tight interface, kept it nice and simple which I think will distance it from the pack of those trying to bite off more than they can chew (I don’t want to name names, but it rhymes with “Cockbuster”, which is what I also call this company because I hate them with a fiery passion bordering on the incandescent).
Anyway, here’s the bad part: either because they can’t get licensing, OR because they want to prevent a rush of people to their online service, it seems that Netflix took the bottom 15% of their movie collection in terms of what might be considered “good” and put it online, along with maybe 5% of things worth watching. This has some redeeming qualities, though – for example, I am willing to watch things now that I wouldn’t even fucking BitTorrent, let alone rent.
Yesterday, that chicken came home to roost, and that chicken turned out to be the drunk at the bar who tells you borderline uncomfortable stories and tries to touch your hand.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker – Watching this, I felt like I had been impaled to the couch by a lance filled completely with pain. I couldn’t even open my mouth to scream. This show is so fucking bad that it became good again, then (I swear) became shitty again, and then fantastic. A-dawg hated it, I had to turn it off, but I will be back for you, Kolchak. I will be back.
Incidentally, it’s now obvious that this is what Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was based off of. I didn’t realize that before. The sad part is that Kolchak is trying to be serious. Stars the dad from A Christmas Story, who I thought was the worst actor in the universe until I watched…
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century – A-dawg rejoiced at this, but I again felt that sinking feeling in my heart as I watched it, especially so soon after Kolchak. First of all, the goddamn episodes are 1hr. and 45min., which feels like a fucking eternity as you sit there and endure Erin Gray, winner of the coveted “Gadhra.com Worst Actor Ever” award. You can see her reading her lines and she stills fucks them up. Absolutely horrific timing, just … just so bad, I don’t know what to say. The first episode featured Buck Rogers disco dancing with some space whore (“Princess Andala”) in an outfit that looks like toilet paper topped by a viking helmet (that’s not an exaggeration), the same space whore wearing what looks like a satellite dish around her neck with her hair artfully spread across it like a kale salad, an actor arguing with a bunch of dinner plates lined up on a railing, and Henry Silva of “Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai” fame in a role so god-awful it’s like stabbing yourself in the eyes with a spoon, except after the stabbing you won’t have to watch him anymore. Twikki the robot wearing Dr. Theopolis like a Flava Flav clock gets a special nod. Also features extremely shitty helmets, worse dialogue, and the offer for Buck to become and interstellar space spy at the end. Can’t wait to see the one with Gary Coleman – *that* should be something.
I took a breather, then we dove into:
Battlestar Galactica (the old one) – I didn’t think I’d say it, but it wasn’t half bad. The plot was at least moderately complex, the acting wasn’t too bad (you’ll see Rick Springfield as the youngest son of Lorne Greene). The one thing I couldn’t get over was how much the ripped off from Star Wars, including dialogue (“Starbuck” = Han Solo, who actually gives a “Yaaahooo!” after blowing something up; someone actually says “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”, the spaceships look like X-wings, the Cylons look exactly like TIE fighter pilots – the list goes on). I liked Star Wars, however, so this went down OK. Still, there were some actors in there that I pray never, ever work again. Note Dirk Benedict as Starbuck, who would later play Face in the A-team, before turning to delicious roles in “Zork: Grand Inquisitor” and “The Demon Keeper”. He also appeared as someone named Face in an episode of ….
Amazing Stories – we watched a handful of these, and I’m pleased to say that they have withstood the test of time. It was weird sitting next to someone your age and feeling that past 25 years roll away. You’ll remember the episodes, and it will stir old memories up in your noggin’, I promise you. I watched an episode that was a dark comedy about mummies, and I felt the hair raise on my arms, and I suddenly remembered that it had freaked me out as a kid (everyone who reads this I’m sure knows how much of a pussy I am about scary movies; if you don’t – uh, forget it).
Anyway, it was quite a day. Definitely check out Kolchak and Buck Rogers if you’re a horrible masochist – I promise they won’t disappoint.