May 13, 2011

A day without Blogger, a day with Roku

Since Blogger was unavailable all day yesterday and most of today (and it appears to have temporarily deleted my review of "Fright"), I watched a load of stuff through the streaming Netflix channel on my new Roku player.

For those who don't know what a Roku player is, check out their website at I've wanted one for ages due to not being able to play Netflix streaming movies on my desktop computer but I was just waiting for a substantial number of horror movies which I'd never seen to become available. Having played with the Roku player for nearly two days now, it's the end of my cable TV subscription. No more annoying commercials for me.

Anyway, here's a quick recap of what I watched which may give you an insight into what happens when a horror movie addict like me first gets a Roku player. It may surprise you because I didn't just watch horror movies.

The Gates
I completely missed this TV series about a gated community of vampires, werewolves, witches and other monsters. Having read that it was cancelled after one season, I wasn't expecting it to be any good so I thought I'd just watch the pilot episode and move on. Unfortunately, it was really good and I ended up watching all the episodes one after another. I don't understand why it was cancelled but the same thing happened to "Firefly", "Farscape", "The Burning Zone", "Invasion" and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" too and it's very annoying. Why great horror and sci-fi TV shows get axed while all those lame comedies about dopey husbands and nagging wives run for years must be an Illuminati conspiracy or something.

Harper's Island
I've only watched the first episode so far but it seems good in a gory Agatha Christie way.

Where's Jack? (1969)
An old film starring Tommy Steele based on the adventures of Jack Sheppard, the thief and jail-breaker who became a folk hero in 1720s London. I remembered it being better and less embarrassing than it actually was but I still enjoyed it.

High Lane (2009)
I switched this off after less than five minutes because I can't stand dubbed movies. Unfortunately a lot of foreign movies on Netflix are like this probably due to the subtitles not showing up so well with lower quality streams.

Devour (2005)
I've passed on this horror movie a number of times at Big Lots because I thought it was likely to be crap. It turned out to be quite enjoyable and had very good production values so it wasn't a turd at all even though the ending wasn't exactly brilliant.

Mutants (2009)
Surprisingly, this French rip-off of every other zombie/virus movie wasn't dubbed. I fast-forwarded through most of it because it dragged on too long and the lead actress was disappointingly plain. It was all very predictable, and I didn't enjoy any of it after the first couple of kills.

I hadn't watched any of the fifth season so I started playing catch-up especially now that it's reached its sixth.

Growing Op (2008)
I don't know why I started watching a Canadian comedy-drama about a home-schooled teenager who decided that he wanted to go to a normal high school instead of staying with his cannabis-growing parents, but I got into it because it wasn't too silly and ended up watching it all the way to its surprise ending. It was good, but I don't feel like I got anything out of the experience.

Summer Lovers (1982)
I have no idea what it was about as I skipped through it for the dirty parts and then rated it as 1 out of 5.

The Horseman (2008)
This was an exceptionally gory Australian revenge movie which I absolutely loved. A father goes after a gang of pornographers who drugged, raped and killed his daughter. Some of the action was a bit far-fetched, but it was all really gritty stuff and the torture scenes were very satisfying. I'm not sure what to classify this film as since it really ticked all the "torture porn" boxes. Probably the best way to describe it is as a far more violent and realistic version of "Death Wish". I rated it as 5 out of 5.

House of 9 (2005)
Although it was a little bit like "Cube" and lot like the more recent "Exam", I suppose it could be classed as a psychological horror (or a bit like "Saw 2" but without all the traps). I enjoyed it, but it was far from being the best of its kind. I rated it as 3 of 5 because it was quite good until the stupid ending.

From Paris with Love (2010)
I really had no interest in this light-hearted but nicely violent and low-brow action film, but I enjoyed it for what it was. It's a bit of a throwback to all those '80s buddy cop movies but with secret agents against terrorists. It was all pretty pointless and forgettable, but that can be said of most action films anyway. I gave it 3 out of 5.

En la Cama (2005)
I thought it would be filth but the stream was too fuzzy and the camerawork too annoying so it was another one that I skipped through in about five minutes.

Man, Woman and the Wall (2006)
This one was nothing but a softcore porno with a stupid story round it. I don't watch many Japanese films as it is and I can't say that I paid much attention to this one either. I thought it was going to be a psycho-stalker kind of film but it was a misguided love story as far as I could tell.

Driftwood (2006)
I'd seen this supernatural drama before but I'd forgotten most of what it was about so I watched it again. I suppose you could call it a ghost story, but it wasn't a scary one and some of the acting was really bad. It had that dweebie guy from "Sex and the City" (not that I'd ever admit to watching it) as a prison guard and he was probably the best actor in it. There was also yet another one of those wrestler-turned-actor types who should have stuck with his previous career. I didn't completely hate it even so. I gave it 2 out of 5.

So that's how I spent my time while I couldn't get into Blogger. How did you spend your Friday the 13th?

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