by Louis Fowler
Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.
Wow, is this straight-to-DVD 50 Cent week or what? Here comes Gun, wherein he plays a mumble-mouthed gun-runner. Not only that, Fiddy wrote the damn thing! Outstanding! Newly-released criminal Angel (a deliciously bloated Val Kilmer) is in need of work, so he comes to pal Rich (50) for some illegal weapons, and, as these things do, deals go bad and double-crosses are enjoyed thoroughly. As rote as the plot is, what makes Gun so extraordinary is that it's got a great cast — Kilmer, James Remar, Danny Trejo, John Larroquette — but they are surrounded by the most hilarious of local theater rejects in every other part. To see the way they play off the unrehearsed readings of the hired help, well, it should be shown to drama students. The direction by Jessy (Soul Plane) Turrero isn't much better, but as far as crime flicks written by a rapper who just took a community college screenwriting course, it's pretty darn entertaining!
One of the few shows to get resurrected after its cancellation, Futurama kept in the public consciousness with a handful of made-for-DVD movies until it was finally picked up by Comedy Central for a new series run. Is it as good as the original Fox one? Eh, I never thought the show was all that good on Fox and, here, it's about the same. It's always been one of those shows that is most enjoyable when playing in the background, occasionally turning around to see what was going on. It works just as well here. The volume five set features the first 13 episodes, with each one featuring a far less closeted political bent, with stories about evolution, “robosexual” marriage and the like being intermingled with more silly plots like cats reclaiming their original planet and alien leaders with midlife crises. If you're already a fan, buy now. If not, just catch the reruns.
The first season of the animated swingin' spy spoof Archer originally aired on the FX Channel, so that's probably a good reason why I missed it. Now if it had been on Adult Swim — where creator Adam Reed's other shows Frisky Dingo and Sealab 2021 were shown — I probably would have actually watched it and been singing its praises for the past few months. Home Movies' H. Jon Benjamin sardonically voices dimwitted super-agent Sterling Archer, who, in-between looking for agency moles and seducing Cuban terrorists, deals with the hilarious perverse lives of the office underlings — an oversexed mom (Arrested Development's Jessica Walters), an undersexed HR rep, a dangerously sexed secretary, his former stacked-rival-agent-ex and her new pencil-pushing boyfriend. It's an extremely funny, overly dirty show that is so clever in the way it parodies typical secret-agent conventions that I sincerely hope they didn't waste all the jokes in season one.