Michael Ricci has an interesting piece up on AfterElton.com about the gay innuendo on Scrubs, and its extremely close relationship between its lead male characters, best friends J.D. (Zach Braff) and Turk (Donald Faison). It’s a pretty interesting read for socio-cultural shoegazers like myself, and included in the bit are plenty of quotes from interviews with show creator Bill Lawrence and Robert Maschio, who plays hornball surgeon “The Todd.” The gist of the piece is that Scrubs is one of the gayest shows on television, despite not having a regular or recurring gay homosexual character.
Driven by its iconic score and masterfully manipulated tenseness, Michael Myers first slashed his way across screens in filmmaker John Carpenter’s seminal 1978 movie Halloween, and the franchise has endured through eight sequels (of dizzyingly varying quality) to become one of the most indefatigably lucrative in the history of modern cinema. Just ask home video distributor Anchor Bay, who has tilled profitable soil with a number of DVD releases celebrating Myers’ film appearances. The latest among these is director Stefan Hutchinson’s feature-length documentary Halloween: 25 Years of Terror, narrated by P.J. Soles.
Presented on two discs, and alongside lovingly produced, new Divimax special editions of the fourth and fifth installments in the series, Halloween: 25 Years of Terror presents a comprehensive look back at all the movies of the franchise, and works in equally superlative fashion as a trip down memory lane for fans and an overarching document of one of the horror genre’s true touchstones of the past quarter century for those who perhaps came of age during one its fallow periods, and for that reason never bothered learning what all the fuss was about. Undeniably the most comprehensive Halloween documentary ever produced, Hutchinson’s movie presents the warts-and-all true stories behind every film in the franchise, from Carpenter’s spur-of-the-moment (allegedly beer-fueled, late night) decision to make Myers the younger brother of the stalked Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) in Halloween II to the mask controversy that would plague Miramax-Dimension’s misguided 1998 H20 entry.
There’s great gossip of minutiae too, from the fact that Quentin Tarantino apparently penned a never-lensed version of what would be Halloween VI (the movie that would entirely discard the interesting cult storyline of part five, and end up being one-third re-shot) to the fact that Halloween: Resurrection‘s Brad Loree, as Myers, apparently had a problem with nervous flatulence, which made him a bit less menacing. In addition to a huge stockpile of rare behind-the-scenes footage, the film also boasts over 80 interviews with Halloween cast and crew, including Carpenter, Curtis, original co-writer/producer Debra Hill, deceased producer Moustapha Akkad, effects guru Greg Nicotero, Tom Atkins, Danielle Harris, Kathleen Kinmont, Nancy Loomis, Joseph Wolf, John Carl Buechler, Nick Castle, Dean Cundey, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Rick Rosenthal, Tommy Lee Wallace and more, plus fans like author Clive Barker, Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright and musician-turned-filmmaker Rob Zombie, who’s signed on to write and direct the next installment in the Halloween series.
The title’s second disc includes all sorts of great panel discussion footage from the “Return to Haddonfield” convention held for the original movie’s 25th anniversary in 2003 (hence the doc’s title). There’s also a behind-the-scenes photo gallery, an original artwork gallery, extended cast and celebrity interviews, on-set footage from Halloween V, a tour of the filming location and much, much more. This is a great disc for diehard fans, and a handheld guide for horror aficionados who are for some reason Halloween neophytes. To purchase the DVD via Amazon, click here. A- (Movie) A (Disc)
recent return of the space shuttle Atlantis, first after there was
trouble getting off the ground — launch was delayed four times, twice
by weather and twice more by technical glitches — and then after
experiencing more hiccups while on its mission to resume construction
of the space station, underscores the immutability of outer space’s
siren call. Apollo 13: Journey to the Moon, Mars and Back
offers an informative glimpse back on that same rich history, and
serves as an awe-inspiring reminder of the risks and fruits of human
Collecting three separate Nova-sponsored features in a single, handy boxed set, Apollo 13: Journey to the Moon, Mars and Back kicks off with Apollo 13: To the Edge and Back,
a great non-fiction companion piece to Tom Hanks and Ron Howard’s
cinematic collaboration. With firsthand accounts from the pilots, their
families and the folks back on Earth manning mission control, the title
tells the gripping true story of the catastrophic flight of Apollo 13
and the heroic struggle to bring all of the astronauts back alive. To the Moon
casts a bit broader net, charting the impossible odds of NASA’s space
program and race to the moon, which began with then-President John F.
Kennedy’s call to service and heavenly investigation in the early
1960s. While the moonwalk of ’69 gets major coverage, the inclusion of
interviews with a variety of unsung heroes and bit players gives this
title a depth unrivaled by any space documentary.
The final mini-feature in the batch, Mars: Dead or Alive,
thankfully features no Val Kilmer. Highlighting the pioneering and
risky mission of twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity, the film details
the painstaking construction of the machinery as robot geologists,
searching for clues that can tell us whether this harsh and barren
planet was ever in its history a place that could have supported life.
Three separate Amray cases comprise Apollo 13: Journey to the Moon, Mars and Back,
all of which are stored in a sturdy cardboard slipcase. The films are
presented in 4×3 fullscreen, though it hardly matters given the
straightforward arrangement of the productions. Bonus materials include
a profile of NASA’s Donna Shirley on Mars: Dead or Alive; she
was the team leader of Sojourner Truth Mars rover mission. There’s also
some brief extra interview material, and printable materials for
educators to help facilitate further classroom discussion. B (Movies) C (Disc)