Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-05-22 Entry: "Sameness"

There I was, making slow but steady progress through Dark Skies (and realising I was making more progress than I thought when I found there were only 20 episodes rather than the 22 or more that I expected). And I got bored... bored with watching the same thing all night for repeated nights.

So, realising that with the delay on my Visa I could afford an extra night off (well, alright, I couldn't really, but I rationalised it away), I picked a DVD to watch (from the enormous stack of ones I haven't seen).

I started with Andromeda, but realised I'd actually seen the episode I didn't think I had, so got bored and gave up halfway through. Then I plumped for a film.

The film was "Phantoms" with Peter O Toole, Ben Affleck, and that new girl from Charmed who appeared after the horrible continuity gap (Rose McGowan for the uninitiated). Anyway, I hadn't seen it before, and had no preconceptions of what it'd be like (other than my sister's opinion that it was rubbish). It started slowly, building suspense as all horror films are supposed to do, and I was initially interested to see what was going to happen. Then Liev Schrieber appeared on screen. Now lets be fair, it may not have been his acting, it may have been the part he was playing, but he was terrible. It was a good thing they finally killed him off. And then the military with Peter O'Toole arrived. And then we found out what was going on. And then it was indeed terrible. The effects (other than the lizard) were pretty mediocre. Peter O'Toole is still alive and kicking (or doddering - I'm not sure if you can dodder someone, but he would have done it brilliantly). Ben Affleck is still nice but dim. I'm not sure I can see him playing Daredevil - he isn't really action film material (see Armageddon, Pearl Harbour for reference - actually, no, don't see Pearl Harbour, it's over an hour too long). And I don't think he'd make a believable blind lawyer.

Otherwise it was a good film. I'm not sure what bits of it were the otherwise - it didn't really do anything wrong, but the creature wasn't exactly scary... ooohhh, we're being attacked by oil. Someone ripped off the X-Files (but clearly did a better job than Chris Carter, who lost the plot somewhere during season 2). And one vial of magic elixir sure goes a long way when it's loaded into tranquilizer guns!

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