Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Science Fiction

2000 Eyes: Battlefield Earth

[Written for Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

“Man is an endangered species,” alerts the introductory card to this adaptation of L. Ron Hubbard’s Star Wars inspired epic sci-fi novel. It should have warned us that logic was also hitting hard times.

The year is 3000 and the place is Earth. After a millennium of brutal subjugation by the Psychlos (seemingly an unholy mating of Star Trek’s Klingon and Ferengi races), humans live like cavemen in the irradiated wilds, foraging through a dying Earth. Rebellious young Jonnie Goodboy Tyler (Barry Pepper, in flowing locks and an unchanging expression of determined sincerity) searches for a better land and discovers a race of intergalactic corporate pirates, eight foot alien slavers sucking the planet dry of resources in the name of profit.

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Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Horror

2000 Eyes: Scary Movie

[Written for Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

If the baddest of the Farrelly brothers bad taste gags has you in stitches, then this is the movie for you. For almost ninety minutes director Keenen Ivory Wayans tries to meld the pop-culture parodies of Airplane! and its ilk with jokes so crude and outrageously raunchy that even Jim Carrey would think twice. At a recent preview screening a pocket of college boys were not just laughing but actually hooting their appreciation.

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Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews

2000 Eyes: The 6th Day

[Originally written for Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

Arnold Schwarzenegger fans were perplexed by End of Days, the dreary, hysterical millennial thriller that marked his comeback from a two-year break. Hollywood’s favorite action hero was reduced to a cynical, burned-out husk of an alcoholic cop on a vaguely redemptive quest. Where was the wiseacre tough guy of few words and explosive action? Where was the beloved teddy bear of a Hollywood Hercules with a destructive streak? Where was Ah-nold?

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Posted in: by Sean Axmaker, streaming

What to stream: ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ on Netflix, ‘The Right Stuff’ on Disney+, final seasons of ‘Schitt’s Creek’ and ‘Mr. Robot’

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …  

The Haunting of Bly Manor” (TV-MA), from “The Haunting of Hill House” creator Mike Flanagan, adapts the Henry James classic “The Turn of the Screw,” updating it to 1980s England. “Hill House” actor Henry Thomas stars as the isolated man who hires an American nanny (Victoria Pedretti) for his orphaned niece and nephew in his vast mansion. (Netflix)

The Right Stuff: Season 1” (TV-14) retells the story of the American space program and the pilots who became America’s pioneering astronauts. Based on the book by Tom Wolfe (which was previously made into the 1983 movie), it stars Patrick J. Adams, James Lafferty, Jake McDorman, and Colin O’Donoghue. Two episodes available, new episodes each Friday. (Disney+)

Continue reading at Stream On Demand

Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews

2000 Eyes: Titanic Town

[Written for Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

“We thought we’d left the Troubles behind,” voices 16-year-old Annie McPhelimy (Nuala O’Neill) in the opening moments. “They were just starting.” Her family moves into a modest brick home in Andersonstown, a Catholic district of West Belfast in 1972, to escape the violence of their previous neighborhood, but it isn’t long before an IRA guerrilla is poised on their porch firing into the streets. Bernie (Julie Walters) charges out like a mother bear, chasing him off more out of foolhardy temperament than actual courage.

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Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews

2000 Eyes: Two Family House

[Written for Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

There’s an engaging modesty to Raymond De Felitta’s Sundance Audience Winner Two Family House, a sweet little romantic drama set in the insular Italian and Irish neighborhoods of 1956 Staten Island and narrated with the conversational ease of a bar story.

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Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Sean Axmaker

2000 Eyes: But I’m A Cheerleader

[Written for Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

Natasha Lyonne (The Slums of Beverly Hills), the most sardonic young actress working today, puts on a cheery face and wears her pom-poms with pride as picture-perfect cheerleader Megan. But she’s got a problem: her boyfriend’s sloppy, slobbering kisses don’t get her all hot and bothered (“Maybe he just doesn’t do it right,” she ponders), she loves tofu, and she proudly hangs a Melissa Etheridge poster in her bedroom. In this cookie-cutter suburb of Anytown USA, those are the telltale signs of lesbianism.

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Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Sean Axmaker

2000 Eyes: Unbreakable

[Written for Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

What if superheroes were real, not some four-color pulp fantasy or Spandex-and-mask-clad movie daredevil, but a part of the fabric of the world? That’s the core of Unbreakable, a potentially interesting idea deflated by the absurd proclamations of an arch screenplay and smothered under the ponderous gravity of M. Night Shyamalan’s dreary direction.

His much anticipated follow-up to The Sixth Sense draws heavily from that hit; the somber colors and hushed soundtrack create a similar mood of unease and otherworldliness, and Bruce Willis again plays a man disconnected from his life who must discover the secret that leaves him “unfulfilled” with the help of a young boy, in this case his son.

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Posted in: by Sean Axmaker, What to Stream

What to stream: ‘Raised by Wolves’ on HBO Max, ‘Away’ and ‘Borgen’ on Netflix, ‘The Boys’ return to Amazon

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …  

Two androids are tasked with raising human children on a barren, far off planet after a devastating religious war on Earth in “Raised by Wolves: Season 1” (2020, TV-MA), an ambitious, high-concept science fiction drama that tackles issues of parenting, intolerance, and religious mythology. Oscar-winning filmmaker (and science fiction movie veteran) Ridley Scott produces and directs the first two episodes. The first three episodes now streaming, new episodes each Friday. (HBO Max)

Continue reading at Stream On Demand

Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews

2000 Eyes: Joe Gould’s Secret

[Written for Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

Joe Gould (Ian Holm), a scruffy, disheveled little man, is a homeless bohemian in a tattered secondhand suit and a grizzled gray beard on the streets of 1940s New York. The profane would-be poet, street critic, and professional party guest is famous among the Greenwich Village literati for his colorful stories and explosive personality, but legendary for his oft-discussed but little seen opus “The Oral History of Our Time,” a collection of conversations had and heard and dutifully recorded for posterity by Gould and stashed around the city.

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