Cross The Streams With Pacific Rim, Classic Godzilla, Dinosaurs, And More
It’s been a few weeks since Cross the Streams reared its handsome, chiseled face to the world, but we promise it’s only gotten more attractive. That is, if you find seven noses and LED light sockets for eyes attractive. Luckily, we’ve got content of all kinds here, including monsters, cartoons, and slightly insightful documentative stuff. One could ask for more, but questions like that are total crap.
We’re trying to shape up the feature this week by top-loading it with the newer films and shows, while ending on the more classic (or completely forgettable) material of yesteryear, as well as rounding up releases we’ve talked about before that might have shown up on a different streaming site. Nuff ‘splaining. More streaming.
The More Recent
Pacific Rim (HBOGo)
One of the biggest movies of last summer is now one of the biggest movies on HBOGo. Also one of the most woodenly acted, but we don’t mind when the humans fail so long as the giant freakin’ robots do some major damage. And that they do in Guillermo del Toro’s CGI-laden blockbuster. (Not that its profits were as big as its monsters, but still.) It cancelled the apocalypse with Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba going into mind-melding mode to power their hilariously named Jaegars into city and water to take on the Kaiju that have risen from beneath the ocean. Yadda, yadda, yadda, oil tanker swung like a baseball bat. Pacific Rim is an ass-stomping good time, though it could have used more Charlie Day and Ron Perlman to break up all the robotic dialogue.
The Dinosaur Experiment (Hulu Plus)
Say, you know that cheap-looking movie Jurassic Park that came out a million years ago? Well, have you ever thought about how goddamned amazing it would be if a version of that movie existed that looked as if USA Network and Syfy had spawned a lovechild movie studio? Look past the surface and find Michael Beberashvili and Dan Bishop’s The Dinosaur Experiment, a film that can probably be judged solely based upon its alliteratively astute former title of Raptor Ranch. Lorenzo Lamas plays a federal agent sent to a small Texas town where a farmer is secretly breeding dinosaurs. And I don’t want to spoil it for you guys or anything, but these sumbitches get loose and tear up the town. This is the kind of movie to watch where you top your popcorn with ice cream.
Fuck for Forest (Hulu Plus)
Up for this week’s “Does This Documentary Count Towards Science Stuff?” award is Michal Marczak’s Fuck for Forest, which takes a full-length look at the titular Berlin charity, which creates material for its own pornographic website that uses a portion of its profits to fund environmental causes, such as saving a rainforest. If you think having sex to save the world sounds like something a hippie would do, you are a smart person. This flick is full of them. Marczak followed the group and its founders, Tommy Hol Ellingsen and Leona Johansson, around for a few months, eventually heading into Peruvian forests the group hopes to save. It seems at times like subjectivity is being used under the guise of objectivity, but it never drifts into exploitation, and this is more a movie about people trying to do something, rather than just, you know, fucking for forests.
The Less Recent
Godzilla vs. Gigan (Hulu Plus)
Godzilla vs. Hedorah (Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster) — (Hulu Plus)
Ebirah: Horror of the Deep (Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster) – (Hulu Plus)
This triple threat of Godzilla films comes two weeks before Universal Home Entertainment and Kraken Releasing release several classic Godzilla flicks on Blu-ray for the first time, and they’re as awesome as they are disparate in tone. In 1966, Godzilla pulled out all kinds of powers in order to stop the giant lobster Ebirah, and later Mothra! In 1971, Godzilla got groovy when he took on the pollutive Hedorah, who pretty much stands for, like, bad things and toxic waste happening to the world, man. And 1972 saw the tag-team fight of the century as Godzilla teamed up with the spike-covered Anguirus to take on the three-headed dragon Ghidorah and the metal-bladed space monster Gigan. You are ready to rumble with these guys, and now you can.
The Faculty (HBOGo)
An odd choice for a follow-up to 1996’s vampire bloodfest From Dusk Till Dawn, 1998’s Body Snatchers-ish teen thriller The Faculty was the age median between director Robert Rodriguez’s adult work and Spy Kids. Josh Hartnett, Clea DuVall, Elijah Wood, Usher, Jordana Brewster, and Laura Harris are students in a school where the teachers go a little crazy after aliens come down and start messing around with humanity; the titular faculty members include Jon Stewart, Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen, Christopher McDonald, and more. Rodriguez doesn’t exploit the R rating here, but this film remains memorable due to those instances of explicitness, combined with a script from Kevin Williamson that steps just outside formulaic slasher-movie plotting for a predictability that feels more satisfying than annoying.
Penn & Teller: Bullshit: Seasons 1-8 (Hulu Plus)
I love Penn & Teller in just about every form imaginable, save for Celebrity Apprentice. This Showtime series, which ran for 89 episodes between 2003 and 2010, was a skeptical and often hilarious look at some of the menial and major bullshit that goes into a number of everyday topics. With its infotainment approach, the series poked debunking holes into things like alien abductions, ESP, the environment, weird obsessions, sex, numbers, dolphins, parking, church, the government, and just about everything in between. I don’t think anyone would argue that this is equal-opportunity journalism, but the magician duo employ a number of public stunts and experiments that always end up making people look stupider than they meant to. It’s a titillating way to make a point, in any case. Just beware of everything before you watch, just in case.
Ben 10: Seasons 2-3, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Season 2, Ben 10: Alien Force (Netflix Instant)
I can’t sit here and honestly say I’ve ever watched any iteration of Ben 10 before, aside from two episodes of Ben 10‘s first season. The Cartoon Network series is about a boy who finds an object that allows him to turn into 10 different aliens, and he kicks a lot of things’ asses on an episodic basis.
Dexter’s Laboratory: Seasons 3-4 (Netflix Instant)
I am more familiar with Dexter’s Laboratory, as it coincided with my youth a little more closely. Created in the mid-1990s by future Star Wars: Clone Wars director/producer and Hotel Transylvania director Genndy Tartakovsky, Dexter’s Laboratory is a big and bold look into the life of one Dexter, a boy genius who runs his own secret lab, which is bigger than his house. His sister DeeDee is constantly getting into his stuff and selfishly fucking his world up, while his parents are the blissfully unaware type most of the time. So it’s good that Dexter has enough high-concept shit going on in his lab, including robots and time travel, to keep himself busy for four seasons. These are the third and fourth seasons, where the stakes remain the same.
The Darkest Hour (Showtime Anytime)
To me, this movie is like M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, with electricity standing in for Mother Nature. They’re not the same movie at all, but they both call for mountainous efforts of disbelief with plotlines that can’t be said aloud without smirking. A solid idea in theory, Chris Gorak’s The Darkest Hour stars Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, and more as tourists in Russia who must fight to survive after an alien attack has corrupted the world’s power supplies. It sounds good, but a lot of it is just CGI lightning bolts that cause no fear. I guess this could have been worse, but only if it insulted your parents.
See you next week! Or, you know, whenever.