MILL CREEK BLU RAY BOX SET: Dawson’s Creek (1996-2003)

I know no bigger fan of Dawson’s Creek than my friend Jim Sloss, who was kind enough to teach me that Pacey’s boat is named True Romance and to write this:

Over the years Sam has asked me many times if I’d like to write something for B&S and I’d always hem & haw and then never get around to it. Then came the box set of all box sets, the show that is like a time capsule to the 1990s and one of my all-time favorites, Dawson’s Creek.

In 1998 when this show came out I can remember vividly watching it on my VCR the following morning (because I had to work the night before) and from the first moment of the pilot to the last I was hooked, the dialogue was nothing that I’d heard before in a teen soap. They took a chance at treating the audience like adults rather than kids and it paid off. So, from that night on I followed the “kids” from Capeside each week for six seasons.

Created by Kevin Williamson, the co-creator of the horror franchise Scream, this series is a fictionalized account of a young film buff from a small town just trying to find his way. Pretty much what Kevin Williamson did was pitch what he knew and so he told a fictionalized version of his growing up in North Carolina. The show was launched on the WB network in January 1998 and was an instant hit with the show being parodied on MTV and Saturday Night Live. Their use of current pop culture and hit music for the time was what kept it relevant each week and talked about on school campuses.

During the late 90s, Dawson’s Creek was considered cutting edge for teen angst, touching on issues that were not talked about on TV and even less so in public. The first season dealt with drug abuse, addiction and infidelity along with every teenage boys dream… the inappropriate relationship with a hot teacher. In 1998 that was a huge story arc for a main character with the teacher just leaving to avoid scandal. These types of stories were becoming more and more common during this time and now leads to the teacher spending long stretches in prison rather than just moving on to another school.

Yet along the way these colorful kids learned from their mistakes and grew into functioning adults just trying to make their way. With the main character Dawson Leery, played by James Van Der Beek, not getting his High School crush Joey Potter, played by Katie Holmes, but instead getting to fulfill his dream of working in movies and TV where he turned his life into a teen drama TV show just like Kevin Williamson.

I would be remiss if I didn’t leave you with the greatest quote and moment of this fantastic tv show. In the finale we find our core characters several years in their future living their lives with little interaction when everyone is reunited for a wedding they immediately learn that one of the main characters, Jen Lindley, is dying of cancer. While Dawson is spending time with his close friend at a hospice facility she has this Hollywood filmmaker record a video for her infant daughter to watch when she’s older. In that video one line she says that gets me every time is “Be sure to make mistakes. Make a lot of them, because there’s no better way to learn and to grow.” While she’s saying that you can see the anguish on Michelle Williams’ face, showing the audience how fragile she is at the end of her short life and how she just wants the best for her child.

This show never shied away from tough storylines and in the end wrapped up everyone’s arc phenomenally.

I would give this series a 10 out 10!!

P.S. The popular Jenna Ortega can be seen watching Dawson’s Creek in Scream 5 out in 2022 and currently on Paramount+.

Thanks again Jim.

The Mill Creek release of the entire series has all 127 episodes across six seasons, along with seven hours of bonus extras, which include Entertainment Weekly‘s 20th Anniversary Reunion, audio commentaries on select episodes, a retrospective featurette and alternate scenes and an alternate ending to the pilot episode.

I watched several of the episodes on this set as, surprise, I never watched this show, despite Jim telling me near consistently — we lived in a house with six people while this show was popular, so I have no idea how I didn’t watch it with him — that I need to watch “The Dawnson,” as he put it.

Surprisingly — as I have often remarked about Williamson’s other work — I really liked what I watched. It felt honest and truthful, nearly lived in. I’ve been watching a few episodes a week now and really enjoying the opportunity to be part of the lives of these characters.

These Mill Creek TV sets are great because they really give you the opportunity to do the same, exploring or binging or however you choose to watch. And unlike streaming, they’re always there for you, not being edited or taken down when you’re in the middle of watching a season.

You can buy the Dawson’s Creek set from Mill Creek at Deep Discount.


AmnesiA (2001): Directed and written by Martin Koolhoven, AmnesiA is the story of two A’s: Alex and Aram (both played by Fedja van Huêt) and their attempts at reconnecting as they attempt to care for their elderly, dying, constantly drunk and frequently hilarious mother (Sacha Bulthuis). That sounds like anything but something I’d usually want to watch, except that there’s also the suicide of their father which has been a point of secrecy and contention for years, as well as the constant power games that Alex unleashes on Aram, including turning his girlfriend Sandra (Carice van Houten) against him. Oh yeah. She’s also a pyromaniac who just appeared in his car one day.

At the same time, Aram has come back to the family home with Wouter (Theo Maassen), a friend who had a crime go wrong and is dying from a bullet to the stomach. This will not help Alex, who can no longer take photographs, as every time he focuses on a subject, he sees the face of a woman who utterly upsets him. One brother is at war with everyone; the other just wants to hide inside himself. There’s no way they can agree, get along or make it through life without great tragedy.

Also: This movie has a lot of female urination to the point that you wonder if it’s some kind of symbolic thing or it’s a Tarantino feet moment.

That said, this is a dark and surreal journey into long-kept family secrets, including a murder in addition to that suicide, and a movie that was meant to be a black comedy, which was lost on audiences, according to the director. Not everything is explained and yet filling in those holes makes this an even more intriguing watch.

Also: Aram’s car has the license plate 28IF, just like Paul’s on the cover of Abbey Road. He’s also barefoot for most of the film, so if I follow the logic that I learned through record album conspiracy theories, he’s already dead.

Suzy Q (1999): Based on the childhood memories of Frouke Fokkema, who wrote the script together with director Martin Koolhoven, Suzy Q is about Suzy (Carice van Houten), a young girl coming of age in the 1960s. The title refers to The Rolling Stones’ cover of the Dale Hawkins song “Susie Q” and the Stones — most importantly Mick Jagger and his lover Marianne Faithfull — figure into the plot, as Suzy finds her way into their hotel room and is kissed by Mick, a fact that no one wants to hear or believe.

Her mother is lost, her father is abusive yet powerless and her brothers are trying to escape with either guitar or young lust. Suzy yearns for a time when she will escape these origins, but it won’t happen just yet. But she will get away.

This is a strong early film for Fokkema and Carice van Houten is incredible. Demetri Jagger was set to play his uncle Mick, but he backed out with some worry that the rock star would not approve. Instead, that’s Andrew Richard — Andy Bird, a one-time lover of Madonna — playing the singer.

All of the music rights kept this from coming out on DVD for some time. Koolhoven encouraged people to post the movie online and did it himself on YouTube.

Dark Light (1997): A burglar (Marc van Uchelen) gets caught breaking into the farm of an old woman (Viviane de Muynck). She’s obsessed with religion. Her body is covered with sores. Things get weird.

She believes that the thief is there by divine intervention and she must enact his penance, which means forcing him to slaughter a pig and lick her body, which is a horrifying moment in direct contrast to the barren and beautiful location that this is set at.

He remains handcuffed throughout as they both throw Biblical passages at one another and battle for some kind of power over one another. She sees herself as Job, afflicted with sores of some plague. We never see her face.

For an early film, Dark Light proves the talent of its creator, director and writer Martin Koolhoven.

The Cult Epics blu ray of AmnesiA has a 4K HD transfer (from the original camera negative) and restoration of the movie, plus an introduction by Martin Koolhoven, commentary by Koolhoven and Fedja van Huet that is moderated by Peter Verstraten, a conversation with Koolhoven and Carice van Houten, a making of, behind-the-scenes footage and a trailer. Plus, there’s a second disk with two TV films by Koolhoven: Suzy Q and Dark Light. There’s also new slipcase art by Peter Strain and a double-sided sleeve with original film posters. You can order this movie from MVD.

Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies (1999)

Director and writer Jack Sholder, who past on making the first movie, said of this sequel, “That’s one that I have very mixed feelings about because there are parts of it that I really like, but I think, all in all, it’s a little dumb. To tell you the truth, I haven’t seen it since I, uh, made it. When I was making it, I thought it was good. I thought a lot of it was kind of funny or clever. I definitely feel it has merit. From what I can gather, it’s one of those films that divides people. Some people don’t like it, others do. And, you know, it was also a sequel to a movie that I thought wasn’t a good movie at all. It’s a movie that I did, and I don’t regret doing. You know, there’s a lot of stuff that I think is pretty good from it. You know, like the scene from the casino I thought was pretty good. Maybe it comes off as being silly.”

I like Sholder’s films Alone in the Dark and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, so I think I gave him a pass here. Or maybe it was a half awake Saturday morning into the afternoon and I just zoned out on the couch and finally tried to relax for once.

Andrew Divoff is back as the djinn, released when a bullet breaks the gem as it sits in an art gallery. Thief Morgana Truscott (Holly Fields) escapes, leaving behind her dying boyfriend and the djinn — in human form — confesses to all the crimes so that he can build an army of souls within a prison. Meanwhile, Morgana and her ex-lover now priest Gregory (Paul Johannson) try to figure out how to stop the visions and deaths caused by the evil big bad.

By that, I mean the priest gets all sorts of occult knowledge while Morgana purifies herself by cutting off one of her fingers and then they make sweet love, but fight demons in any way you can, I guess.

I mean, this has Tiny Lister in it as a warden, so I can’t completely dislike it. Divoff is so much fun that it just keeps me watching these. That jail, by the way, is the same one from A Nightmare On Elm StreetChained Heat‘s boiler room also belongs to this location.

You can watch this on Tubi.

APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Do Not Disturb (1999)

April 17: Party Over, Whoops — Select a movie from 1999.

Dick Maas is known for his Dutch language films like The LiftAmsterdamnedFlodderPrey and Sint, but this is in English and finds American pharmaceutical executive Walter Richmond (William Hurt) taking his wife Cathryn (Jennifer Tilly) and their 10-year-old mute ever since a major trauma daughter Melissa (Francesca Brown) to Amsterdam.

Melissa gets lost and sees Bruno Decker (Corey Johnson) kill Simon Van der Molen (David Gwillim), the attorney of her father’s boss Rudolph Hartman (Michael Chiklis) to keep the side effects of a new medication secret. She’s saved by a homeless man named Simon (Denis Leary) but is soon being menaced by Decker and Hartman, as well as Billy Boy Manson (Michael A. Goorjian), a rock star who tries to assault her. And she’s not even a tween yet.

Do Not Disturb flirts with giallo, perhaps not as much as Amsterdamned, with the stranger in a strange land idea of a girl who can only communicate by dry erase board lost in a foreign country. I read a great thought on Maas by Letterboxd user Dan Prestwich, who said that the director makes films that are like a “children’s film except with an R-rating.” He excels when it comes to getting past the plot and all those contrivances and getting down to chase scenes and action.

APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Baby Geniuses (1999)

April 17: Party Over, Whoops — Select a movie from 1999.

This is the first full-length feature to use computer-generated imagery for the synthesis of human visual speech. And yes, it made $36 million dollars on a $12 million dollar budget, but man, I don’t want to hate Bob Clark. Not the Bob Clark who made Black ChristmasPorky’s, DerangedDeathdream and Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things. Then I remembered that Bob Clark also was the director of Rhinestone even if he also made A Christmas Story and man, life is sad sometimes.

Dr. Elena Kinder (Kathleen Turner) and Dr. Heep (Christopher Lloyd) have figured out that babies are, true to the name of this movie, geniuses that speak in a secret coded language called Babytalk. When they grow up, they lose this knowledge. One of the orphans they have stolen, Sylvester, escapes and meets his twin brother Whit (they are played by Leo, Gerry and Myles Fitzgerald) and gets adopted by Dan (Peter MacNicol) and Robin Bobbins (Kim Cattrall).

Man, this movie makes me sad for Ruby Dee and Dom DeLuise. I mean, Dom was in some horrible films and this makes MunchieSextette and The Silence of the Hams look like movies that critics say take big swings and are singular experiences.

Who is to blame for this? Jon Voight.

Jon Voight, the man whose accent in Anaconda was so bad that I demanded he lose his Oscar, had this movie as part of his production company and worked to convince Clark that it was a good idea.

It wasn’t.

There’s also Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, which Clark directed and Voight played the final boss in, which there’s also a TV series that only aired in Italy and the Far East, but has gone direct to video and appeared here as Baby Geniuses and the Mystery of the Crown Jewels, Baby Geniuses and the Treasures of Egypt and Baby Geniuses and the Space Baby. I know that someday I’m going to watch these movies because I’m kind of insane and love to hurt myself.

I still love Bob Clark. But man, this movie worked hard to make me despise him.

APRIL MOVIE THON 2: The All New Adventures of Laurel & Hardy in For Love or Mummy (1999)

April 17: Party Over, Whoops — Select a movie from 1999.



Larry Harmon, one of the writers of this movie, is better known as Bozo the Clown. He was also smart, buying the rights to Bozo from Capitol Records and franchising local Bozo shows in nearly every major U.S. market and in other countries. In 1961, he went even bigger and bought the merchandising rights to the likenesses of Laurel and Hardy, making a cartoon with Hanna -Barbera and performing Stan’s voice (Jim MacGeorge, who played Stan on Get Smart, ended up being Hardy. Yes, that’s kind of weird). He held the rights so long that he was able to make this movie 38 years later.

The co-director and co-writer with Harmon was John R. Cherry III, the former advertising man who created Ernest P. Worrell and directed all of his films. When Jim Varney got too sick to make movies, he decided to make this, a film with the aim of reintroducing Laurel and Hardy to the new millennium.

To play Oliver Hardt, Gailard Sartain (who was in the Cherry-discovered comedy team of Chuck and Bobby with Bill Byrge; they’re also in the Ernest movies). And for Stan Laurel, why not Bronson Pinchot, who was a long way from Beverly Hills Cop by 1999. To be fair — I’m a big fan of Pinchot and see him as someone who never got the opportunity to how what he could do. Just watch True Romance to see him in action.

Somehow, the comedy team is in modern day Florida where they protect Leslie Covington (Susan Danford) from a mummy who wants to destroy her father, archeologist Henry Covington (F. Murray Abraham, who in 1999 was a long way from Amadeus).

Harmon also appears as the owner of Bozoworld, getting all his media into the movie.

Supposedly, the answer to why they are in 1999 is that the characters are the great-nephews of the legendary comedians. Yet why do they sound and act exactly like them? Why do they dress as if they came from a hundred years ago? Do people know who Laurel and Hardy are in this universe? Are they not mindblown that two non-brain addled — well, maybe — adults are dressing and acting like their uncles? Do they have too explain all the time that they are the great-nephews of Laurel and Hardy? Did Laurel and Hardy make love to their mothers in some act of family shame to ensure that the genes would keep passing through the holy bloodline? Are they legacy characters like The Phantom and Starman?

Who is this movie for? Anyone still alive that cared about the characters would be upset that someone else is doing a deep fake of them in real life. And anyone else would have no idea who they are. Does anyone else know that in a short called “Sons of the Desert” Laurel and Hardy were in a fraternity called the Brotherhood of the Nile and that totally means they should encounter a mummy at some point?

This was made in Cape Town, South Africa. This seems like the right place, I guess.

You can watch this on YouTube.

APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Simon Sez (1999)

April 17: Party Over, Whoops — Select a movie from 1999.

Kevin Alyn Elders directed three Iron Eagle movies before he decided that the world needed a Dennis Rodman solo adventure. Here, The Worm is Simon, an Interpol agent, and he made this movie because there was a basketball league lockout in 1989.

Robert Downey Jr. was in this for a few days and dropped out. He was replaced by Dane Cook which is the antonym of an upgrade. Go ahead. Look it up.

Written by Moshe Diamant (feardotcom), Rudy Cohen and Andrew Miller, this movie makes Double Team look like The Killer. Also: John Pinette plays a cyber monk named Brother Micro. There’s also a girl by the name of Claire Fence (Natalia Cigliuti)who is kidnapped but doesn’t know it that Cook is supposed to save, as well as an old enemy named The Dancer (Emma Wiklund from the Taxi movies) that wants to fight Simon again. Or have sex with him. Or have fight him while having sex. And an arms dealer named Ashton (Jerome Pradon) who is behind so much of this.

You know, I have no problem with athletes making movies. My love for Stone Cold is loud and repeated. But Rodman kind of snarl whispers every line and totally seems like he should be the villain in his own movie.

88 FILMS BLU RAY RELEASE: Gorgeous (1999)

Bu (Shu Qi, Shanghai FortressThe Transporter) is a, well, gorgeous girl from a Taiwanese fishing village who leaves for romance in Hong Kong once she discovers a message in a bottle — “I am waiting for you” — promising love. That note came from a lonely man named Albert (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) who is pining for a lover who left him. She stays and finds a recycling company owner and fighting machine named C.N. (Jackie Chan) who provides the kind of amorous attention that you only read about in movies.

She falls for him and maybe he falls for her, but he’s also dealing with his childhood friend turned rival Howie Lo (Emil Chau), who he’s been fighting for what seems like forever. Now, Howie has also hired Alan (Brad Alan), a fighter who may be even tougher than C.N., and plans on getting the revenge that he’s always wanted.

This is an interesting role for Chan, as he has to be less action hero and more a lover. That said, it’s still filled with some incredible action and has the kind of storybook ending you hope for.

C.N. is very close to Jackie in real life, as he trains and dresses a lot like him. That may be because Chan wrote this with Ivy Ho and director Vincent Kok. Even the environmental message comes from how Chan sees the world and what needs to be done to help save it.

The 88 Films release of Gorgeous has a 2K transfer from the original film materials for both the Hong Kong and International versions of the film, as well as three audio commentaries (one with Frank Djeng and FJ Desanto, another with Mike Leeder and Arne Venema and a third with Jackie Chan). There’s also an Andy Cheng on Brad Allan featurette, an interview Vincent Kok, a making of, music videos, trailers and a reversible cover with new artwork by Sean Longmore. You can get it from MVD.

APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Jackie Chan: My Stunts (1999)

April 7: Jackie Day — Celebrate Jackie Chan’s birthday!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

Jackie Chan’s My Stunts straight-to-video documentary takes us inside the world of Jackie Chan’s stunt and fight choreography. The follow-up to My Story (1998), the film begins by taking the viewer on a nostalgic tour of some of Chan’s most famous action scenes. It visits the locations of Police Story (1985) and reminisces on the amazingly dangerous stunts in that film. We also shown the inside of the lab where Chan and his celebrated stunt team come up with ideas for fight sequences. Chan’s enthusiasm for his work at this stage in career really shines through. It’s clear that his work is his whole life. Chan takes us step by step through pole fighting and wire techniques with great enthusiasm and precision. They illustrate his perfectionist ways to even greater effect in the behind-the-scenes clips from Who Am I? (1998) where we get to see a little bit of “Assy” Chan.

During the filming of a rooftop fight, Chan becomes frustrated with the performance of a fighter who is not a movie actor but a real martial artist. After several failed takes, Chan finally replaces him with one of his own team members to get the desired result. It’s a very interesting peek at what it must be like to work with Chan. The best part happens when Chan trusts the work to several members of his team. It’s clear the members of his stunt team are greatly responsible for his longevity in film and Chan lets them take the credit they deserve.

It’s a very educational and entertaining documentary and fans of Kung Fu films in general will certainly come away with a greater respect for all the people who do this kind of work.

It’s on YouTube for free here:

ARROW BLU RAY RELEASE: Lovers Lane (1999)

EDITOR’S NOTE: You know when you’ve seen too many slashers? When you review one twice. Here’s the original take on Lovers Lane.

Based on the urban legend of The Hook, Lovers Lane was directed by Jon Steven Ward and written by Geof Miller and Rory Veal. It starts thirteen years ago with the origin of the hook hand killer, as Dee-Dee (Diedre Kilgore) and Jimmy (Carter Roy) are steaming up their windows when they’re attacked and barely escape, only to find another couple bleeding out in their own backseat. When the cops arrive, led by Sheriff Tom Anderson (Matt Riedy) and psychiatrist Jack Grefe (Richard Sanders), the hook — known as Ray Hennessey (Ed Bailey) — is arrested and one of the victims ends up being Tom’s wife. Even worse, Hennessey was Jack’s patient and had a fixation on Harriet.

Fast forward: Jack’s daughter Chloe (Sarah Lancaster) just tried to down her boyfriend Michael (Riley Smith) for breaking up with her. She gets suspended and Michael’s mother — the principal and, as coincidences abound, the wife of the man Harriet was cheating with — grounds him. If that doesn’t seem like enough drama, The Hook has escaped and taken his weapon back.

How do the kids react to all of this? They go bowling. Yes, Chloe and Michael are still making each other jealous as they hang out with their friends Mandy (who is Jack’s daughter and played by Sarah Lancaster), Bradley (Ben Indra), Janelle (Anna Faris), Doug (Billy O’Sullivan), Cathy (Megan Hunt) and Tim (Collin F. Peacock). Don’t get too used to anyone, like the young cop Deputy David Schwick (Michael Shapiro) protecting them, because The Hook is ready to slice, dice, slash and I guess whatever verb goes with hooks. Poke? Prod? Stick?

If you’re wondering why they all go to Lovers Lane after all that — and what has happened before — you may have never seen a slasher before.

Shot in Seattle, Lovers Lane was originally going to be filmed at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie, WA. Yet after several real life student deaths — including a triple murder — the school probably correctly said that that would be a bad idea.

Hey, this has 15 deaths, so it gets part of the slasher thing right. It’s just quite late in the game by 1999 — and in a post-Scream world — to be making by the numbers slashers. Bonus points, however, for using Anna Faris — she met first husband Ben Indra on this movie — a year before she’d make fun of movies exactly like this in Scary Movie. And wow, this has the wackiest jazz soundtrack. It’s certainly something.

Arrow Video’s blu ray release of Lovers Lane has a brand new 2K restoration from a 4K scan of the original 35mm camera negative. There are two versions of the film: the widescreen 1.85:1 version and the full-frame 1.33:1 version, along with brand new audio commentary with writer-producers Geof Miller and Rory Veal, a featurette on the movie, trailers, image gallery, a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady and an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Lindsay Hallam and double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady. You can get it from MVD.