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The Twilight Zone: The Trade-Ins (1962)
Watch only for a good laugh
My husband and I love the TZ, and last year I got him the entire set on DVD for Xmas. We got around to watching this one last night.....and laughed hysterically, when we weren't staring in bewilderment. The concept of this one is actually pretty good (set in future, old couple wants to buy new bodies), but the writing reads like a first draft, and the acting doesn't help. The old guy stumbles and stammers and never finishes a sentence, only not in a charming way. Things happen pretty randomly--in this world, you can knock on some guy's door while he's playing the piano, and he'll get up and play poker with you and 3 or 4 other guys who are just sitting around waiting; it only takes a few minutes to walk out fully recovered from surgery, etc. (It's the future, after all--although the rough-tough gambling guys look and talk like Mickey Spillane characters). Lines like "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!" and a few surreal moments that seem straight out the Rocky Horror Picture Show make this a perfect candidate for the MST3K treatment. Enjoy!
One Rat Short (2006)
Beautiful and haunting
I'm not an animation junkie, and spent this weekend in the theatre watching last year's Oscar shorts (live-action and animated) because it was free and I was bored. I believe ORS didn't even make it to the Oscars, though it was shortlisted. But it was, to me anyway, clearly the best thing in the animation category, and possibly of them all. It looks great--not too derivative, not too abstract or "cartoony," and definitely NOT like CGI. The surfaces are so real (fur, metal, glass) you feel like you can touch them, the contrasts between dark and light are expertly used, and the scene where the Cheeto is crushed in slow motion is simply beautiful. The music was perfectly suited to the action, almost another character in itself. And on top of it all, it has fast-paced suspense and a touching love story, with the right ending for a change (something far too many films featuring humans fail at). This film has stayed with me long after many of the others I saw that night have faded. I'm sure sure I'll buy it off iTunes...but I have to wait a bit, since it affected me so much I'm not sure I'm ready to watch it again yet!