Posts Tagged ‘film’

I’m shocked that June is already past. It seems like just last week I was writing about the small selection of movies we had watched in May. According to my further lack of movie-watching activity, it would seem that June was an even busier and more preoccupied month for me. I blame this on starting a new job, blogging, getting back into yoga twice a week, lots of ebay selling, and pickles.

Perhaps my goal for July should be to slow down and take it easier—to have better movie recommendations to make come August 1st. 🙂

Here’s last month’s selections, and my thoughts on each.

Pumping Iron—3.5 Stars—for a documentary about body-building made back in Arnold’s prime (1977), this movie was pretty decent. It shows the grace and poise of bodybuilding, as well as the brute force and fierce competition. It kept my interest and makes Arnold look kind of like a jerk, so I’ll give it a 3.5.

Paperboys—2.5 Stars—This is one of the most mediocre documentaries I’ve seen. It was short, which was nice, but didn’t really have much of a point to it. We met and learned about several adolescent boys who were still practicing the dying art of newspaper delivery in the year 2000. It had potential, as far as documentary subjects are concerned, but ended up being less than insightful.

The Thing—3.5 Stars—This was actually one of the best movies I watched in June. I was expecting a totally cheesy ’80s flick complete with bad acting and campy special effects, but I was pleasantly surprised with a movie that was actually quite well made. I thought the ending was anti-climactic, but it was an enjoyable watch overall. I may have to get in another John Carpenter movie this month. Any suggestions?

Highlander—3 Stars—I’ve been trying to convince Jeff that the television series is way better than the movie version. Perhaps you all can help me out on that one. As it is, I have to give this movie 3 stars for its originality as far as the sci-fi genre is concerned.

Touching The Void—3.5 Stars—I’ve been spoiled by watching tv shows like “I Shouldn’t Be Alive”, so this survivalist documentary fell a bit flat for me. It was very a very interesting story, and an amazing feat of survival, but lacked the sensationalism I’ve come to expect from the telling of such a story. I can’t really blame the movie for that one, though.

Dogtooth—1 Star—I am very open minded when it comes to film appreciation—but I disliked this movie very much. Then again, I think that the movie is supposed to be disturbing, so I’m tempted to give it more credit for that. But I won’t. Don’t watch it, please.

Miller’s Crossing—3 Stars—Truth be told, we didn’t quite finish this one. It wasn’t that it was a bad movie, it’s just that we watched only half of it one night, then forgot about it for about two weeks til we finally just sent it back. I guess that says more about how we liked the movie than any star rating could.

After the Wedding—4 Stars—This was a good drama. I would say it’s not excellent, but it’s worth a watch. I vaguely remember that there was something that I felt critical about, but I can’t remember it now, so I guess it wasn’t horrible.

So there you have it: my highly mediocre movie-going experience as of late. We’re kicking off July with The King’s Speech, so I’m expecting great things this month.

Now to update my queue…any recommendations???

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My Affair With Netflix


One year ago I was introduced to the world of Netflix. I was skeptical at first, and out of curiosity one day got on the site just to see if they would have anything worthwhile. Within minutes I was signed up with my own account, already clicking “Add to Queue” repeatedly and anticipating my first arrivals. I was just too impatient to wait, and started devouring some films that were available for viewing online. Pure joy.

Since then Netflix has gotten $224.55 from me. And since then I have seen 114 films on my account. At less than $2 per movie, I’d say that, if nothing else, Netflix is a deal. But, for someone like me, who loves movies and film, it amounts to a great deal more. It’s instant access to some pretty darn obscure films. It’s exposure to actors and directors and genres that I never knew existed. It’s Christmas, several times a week, delivered right into your mailbox and waiting to be unwrapped when you get home from a long day. It is, in two words, Pure Awesomeness. And, to indulge myself in honor of my one-year anniversary with one of the latest loves of my life (that would be you, Netflix), I have compiled a list of short reviews of every Netflix movie I have seen on my OWN account since the day I handed over my debit card number. I don’t expect anyone to read through all of these, but hopefully I will be able to share some small part of the wonderful and frequent cinematic discoveries that I have made in these past twelve months. Enjoy, as I did!


My Netflix Queue, in Roughly Chronological Order, Starting September of 2008.

Alice—7.5 stars—It’s not for everyone, but I have a soft spot for creepy ass short-stop animation. This one certainly fits the bill, and almost a year later I can still recall some pretty vivid images from this film. I could see myself watching it again and bumping it up a star or two.

Confessions of a Superhero—9 stars—This is a funny, sad, and intriguing documentary about people who dress up as superheroes and pose with tourists for money. Superman takes the cake in this one. It’s a hilarious film, but sobering in many aspects. It is unique and excellent as far as documentary is concerned.

Hell House—6.5 stars—This documentary focuses on a “haunted house” that is orchestrated each year by a Christian church who acts out scenes of sins that are sure to send a person to hell. You can just imagine. It’s entertaining, and you will enjoy it more if you like to be disgusted by religious fundamentalists. However, there is something about the quality of the documentary that keeps me from giving it more stars…maybe it is the exploitative aspect of the film, or the simple fact that I can’t really remember whether I liked it that well or not.

Dan In Real Life—1 star—I hated this movie so much that I became violent. If you don’t believe me ask my ex. J Maybe I’m too much of a prude to appreciate it, but it wasn’t funny, it was just creepy and pathetic. And no verisimilitude whatsoever.

I’m Not There—9.5 stars—I knew virtually nothing about Dylan before I saw this movie. Maybe that’s why I loved it so much. This movie won’t give you much in the way of bibliographical facts, but it will give you a fantastic insight into the many aspects of this man’s personality.

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill—9 stars—Clearly my taste in films is biased…anything having to do with animals will inevitably gain more stars. This one is a bit slow, but it’s cute and quaint, and was delightful and entertaining to watch (for me anyway). There are some parts of it that are not quite fully fleshed out, though I don’t mind being allowed to formulate my own opinion about a couple of the people in this doc. Also, anthropomorphism always irritates me, but here it’s just so dang cute that it can’t be avoided.

King of Kong—9 stars—I’ve seen this a few times, and it’s a win every time! You will definitely get sucked into the story of the protagonist, whether you are aware of the gaming world or not. It’s funny, it’s real (oh so real), and the villain is just too good. If you want a thoroughly entertaining documentary to waste two hours of your time, this is it.

Stone Reader—9 stars—It seems that I am biased toward documentaries as well. But this one is about BOOKS. Not only that, it’s about literature. It’s about people who love literature and words and language. It’s discussions of a literary nature, with a background story of investigation and finding a skilled author who seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. And it has lots of books in it.


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