As I’m sure most people did, I originally bought a Roku for the sole purpose of streaming Netflix or Amazon Video without having to connect my laptop to the TV. However, I’ve learned the true value of this device is in the free add-on channels you can pick up from the channel store. The best, by far, is the Drive-In Classics channel. Add this to your line-up if you haven’t already because it’s an incredible piece of American culture. The repetitive ads are annoying, but it’s a small price to pay to bring class to your otherwise Philistine existence.
Once you’ve given into my peer pressure, my first recommendation to you…
…is The Phantom Planet - an edge of your seat space thriller from 1961 that would later inspire Jason Schwartzman and some buds to write that theme song for The O.C.
It’s not a particularly original concept for the time. Two astronauts on a stereotypical rocket ship fly through space on a rescue mission when, oh no some meteorites or something happen, and the ship gets bashed. I guess it’s important to remember that they were filming this movie about the same time Yuri Gagarin was riding a garbage can through the stratosphere, so most people knew bugger all about extraterrestrial physics. So when one of the meteorites pierces Captain Chapman’s spacesuit, it knocks him “unconscious” rather than…you know…violently decompressing his internal organs.
Anyway, so he ends up landing on an asteroid that shrinks him down to about six inches tall - for space reasons or something - and he has to learn to get along with his new alien friends. And by alien friends, of course, I mean a group of English-speaking white people with basically the same culture you would find in Cold War America.
I won’t ruin the story for you, but there’s, you know, a love triangle and some stick wrestling and a lesson about the importance of working past our overrated, marginal differences to team up against “Jaws” from the James Bond movie dressed up like a horrifying Muppet precursor:
It’s 82 minutes of your life you’ll never have back, but what were you going to do with it anyway?