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.
It’s funny how the 1994 Dean Devlin/Roland Emmerich sleeper sci-fi hit Stargate has been quietly dominating television science fiction for over a decade, spawning four popular series (SG-1, Atlantis, Universe and the animated Infinity). That’s a feat rivaled only by, maybe, Star Trek. The best of this lot, however, is Stargate: Atlantis. The entire series, on 20 discs(!), has been released on Blu-Ray. The basic premise of the show is that the Stargate team, made up of research scientists and highly trained soldiers, has discovered a new portal, one that leads to the ancient city of Atlantis, located somewhere in the Pegasus galaxy. The former denizens of Atlantis are thought to have been the most powerful race ever created, and are constantly at war with the Wraith. It’s all pretty dense and a lot to take in; I’m only on Disc Three of Season Three. Still nine more discs to go.
Being Hispanic, I love positive movies about my people. That’s a given. What’s weird, however, is that I hate sports, but absolutely love sports movies. William Dear’s wonderfully inspirational The Perfect Game manages to combine the two things I love, making it one of my favorite movies released this year. It tells the true story of a kindly priest (Cheech Marin, playing the exact opposite of his Machete character) in Monterrey, Mexico, who sets up a baseball team for the local impoverished youth. With the help of a former St. Louis prospect (a heroic Clifton Collins, Jr.) who left because of rampant anti-Mexican bigotry, he leads the ragtag group of kids to glory at the 1957 Little League World Series. Sure, it can get a little clichéd at times, even a bit melodramatically sappy, but the cast jells with such earnest charisma — as well as an unexpected, pro-faith, almost pro-Catholic message — that it’s hard not to find yourself cheering.
If you had a gun to your head and were forced to choose either between your mother or father being murdered, who would you pick? That’s the kooky idea behind the watchable Saw rip-off Choose, which attempts to introduce a ready-made iconic horror character while telling a fun, yet derivative, story at the same time. The killer is named Nathan Jones, and he’s getting people to make the bloodiest of arbitrary choices, although I’m not sure what the whole reasoning behind his madness is. Revenge, I guess. It’s this questioning of the killer’s motives that causes Choose to suffer in the anti-hero department. At least Saw’s Jigsaw had a point to his flesh-riddled lessons. Nathan just seems like a fratty dude who was dumped in one too many foster homes. But, like I said, it’s not a “bad” movie; it’s certainly worth a rental, with some intriguing new ideas. It's just too bad they were written into an old story.