Mini Movie Reviews: The Fly II (1989) and Scrooge (1951)

The Fly Collector Set (DVD)The Fly II (1989)

Starring Eric Stoltz, Daphne Zuniga, Lee Richardson, John Getz, Frank C. Turner, Ann Marie Lee and Optimus Prime. ((Peter Cullen was the voice of Prime in the Transformers cartoons and movie in the 1980’s (as well as the voice of Eeyore in Disney’s recent Winnie the Pooh TV series and movies), but Gary Chalk took up the role when the Transformers were revived in the late 1990’s.))

Directed by Chris Walas.

The Fly II certainly has its share of gore, but is nowhere near as graphic as my teenaged recollections. Then again, high school boys are more concerned with flashes of blood (and breasts) than they are with character development and the depth of the story. There’s actually a good bit of build-up before the violent and graphic climax, and it was interesting to see the fresh-faced Eric Stoltz (who was twenty-eight when The Fly II was released, but looks at least a half-dozen years younger) as Martin Brundle ((“Brundle” is on my Top Ten List of of Movie Surnames.)). I don’t think The Fly II quite measures up to its predecessor, but as sci-fi/horror flicks go, it was very entertaining.

A Christmas Carol (DVD)
Scrooge (1951)

Starring Alastair Sim, Mervyn Johns, Michael Hordern, Francis de Wolff, Michael Dolan and John Steed.

Directed by Brian Desmond Hurst.

Scrooge is one of the three versions of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that I consider to be classics ((The other two are Scrooged, starring Bill Murray, and the audio version of A Christmas Carol read by Patrick Stewart. Alas, the made-for-TV movie starring Stewart was less than inspiring.)). Interestingly enough, until it aired on American Movie Classics this week, I hadn’t ever watched Scrooge from beginning to end. Alastair Sim is the definitive Ebenezer Scrooge, and the difference between the humbug and the convert is both remarkable and convincing. I actually experienced a little eye leakage when the reformed Scrooge woke up on Christmas morning, the true spirit of the holiday firmly ensconced in his once-miserly heart. ((What can I say? I’m a sap.))