Stream Police: Animal Magnetism Edition
Hello ladies and gents, this week we're going to focus on animal-themed selections from Netflix, our beloved sink hole of free time. Why? Because they exist. The selection is... a little eclectic to say the least. Here we go.
DinoTrux is a new, animated show about prehistoric age, sentient, construction vehicles that also happen to be dinosaurs, as they attempt to look for ore, their food, and defend themselves from the evil T-rex T-trux named D-structs. It is perfectly fun for children, but insane in the most entertaining way.
A garbage truck shaped like a stegosaurus is is named Garby the Stegarbosaurus. He eats rocks, poops compact cubes used as building blocks, and farts noxious green gas. A bulldozer shaped like a triceratops is called a Dozeratops. Power tools shaped like small lizards are called Reptools that can change the bits on their noses to do different repair jobs.
It's great for kids, and great for anyone that feels intense nostalgia for cartoons like old school TMNT, Transformers, and the like. It doesn't feel like the more watered down cartoons made for children now. It contains a level of "friendship and caring" but still includes action, aggression, some pretty messed up stuff when you think about it, and cowardly, heel secondary characters. D-Structs and Scrappy the Scraptool are incredibly similar to Megatron and Starscream. Check it out if you look fondly on the cartoons from your childhood, or just want to laugh at the crazy combinations of construction tools and dinosaurs.
For Fans of: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, The Lego Movie
Antboy is a Danish film that follows a young boy who gets bitten by an ant and gains ant-like powers. It's Danish Spider-Man as a child. Normally I hate child actors, but Oscar Dietz manages to bring an intense innocence to the piece that allows his character to be interesting. The film's main villain is a grown man calling himself the Flea, who kidnaps the young crush of Antboy, which does add a certain unsettling vibe to the movie, but not one that is overt enough to be a real detractor.
The film isn't perfect, but it manages to be an intensely sweet, if sometimes hokey piece, that delivers some legitimate laughs mixed in with dialogue that can sometimes be a little stale. Check it out if you're looking for something light-hearted and cute. There's also a sequel called Revenge of the Red Fury which I plan on checking out in the future.
For Fans of: Spy Kids, Spider-Man comics, T.I.M.
The Ghost and the Darkness
The Ghost and the Darkness is based on the true story of John Patterson, played by Val Kilmer, as he goes to Uganda to try and build a railroad. When his construction efforts are halted by vicious and unusual lion attacks, a hunter, played by Michael Douglas, arrives to help him track and kill the beasts, that may or may not have supernatural abilities.
It's an interesting period piece, with complex characters, interesting antagonistic creatures, a depiction of native Africans that isn't incredibly condescending, and a highly tense climax that will leave you stunned.
For Fans of: Val Kilmer, The Edge, Africa
The third film he wrote and the second feature film he directed, Reservoir Dogs is arguably one of Quentin Tarantino's greatest films. With a vastly lower budget, and no cool toys to play with, Tarantino focused on his signature dialogue, brutal violence, and unique story structure to create a compelling and interesting film. Reservoir Dogs is also greatly helped by it's cast list, including actors such as Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel, and others.
I know it's not technically about an animal, but who cares. Deal with it.
For Fans of: Pulp Fiction, Taxi Driver, Casino
Happy Tree Friends
Some of you may not remember the twisted, violent, warped animation that is Happy Tree Friends. Initially a short web show in which small animated forest creatures were brutally slaughtered in painful accidents, it was picked up for a few full length episodes, and it did not tone down at all. Creatures are dismembered, shaved down to a nub, impaled, crushed, decapitated, shredded, and otherwise disfigured to the backdrop of colorful artwork, minimal dialogue, and happy music. It is not a show for kids. Hell, it's barely a show for adults.
For Fans of: Drawn Together, Happy Tree Friends (The online shorts), fluffy animations of gruesome deaths