Monday, February 09, 2009

Netflix Diary 2

All I've been doing is watching movies. Oh God. Help me. Send women.


Color Me Kubrick: Yeah, the trailer made this one out to be a lot more fun than it ended up being. John Malkovich plays Alan Conway, an alcoholic con man who goes around pretending to be Stanley Kubrick so that people will buy him things. Hilarity should rightfully ensue, but instead it's more like a sad clown going around making other people sad. The most fun I had watching this was counting how many of the actors appeared in Doctor Who or its various spinoffs. The answer? A lot. I suppose there would've been more in this for me were I more familiar with the real Kubrick's career, as there's a lot of allusions/riffs on his work here-- I caught some Clockwork Orange and Spartacus refs, but most of it surely went over my head. Anyway, I don't recommend this. It turns 85 minutes into a long haul.

Dan in Real Life: I would also assume that romantic comedies are supposed to be, you know, comedic. This one isn't. It's more of a drama about a guy who is known for giving many readers advice on life (we don't see/hear any of it in the film) but whose own life is falling apart a bit. Things get more and more awkward until everyone just decides that things are okay again. Yawn.

Fido: Here's a good one. A film that I could only describe as "Shaun of the Dead meets Lassie," this charming little movie is about a boy and the docile zombie he befriends. It takes place in a bizarre, Tim-Burton-esque 50s-era world where everything's just quaint and peachy except, oh yeah, zombies are the new slaves, that is, when they're not trying to eat you. All the world's children are now desensitized to violence and trained to shoot zombies in the face. Anyway, things break down a bit and trouble brews, of course. The tone is quite interesting, but the farce and the emotional content blend pretty well in the end. Carrie-Anne Moss puts in a good performance. I might have to buy this one. It's an excellent little entry into the zombie oeuvre.

The Good Night: I knew nothing about this going in other than it had Martin Freeman and Danny DeVito in it. Imagine my pleasant surprise when the first two shots of the film feature Jarvis Cocker (of Pulp) and Simon Pegg (of awesomesauce). It had to be good, right? Well, it was okay-- a twisting drama of a man who finds reality to be unfulfilling, so he regresses into his dreams, only to become unfulfilled by those in the end, too. I think it was labeled as a comedy, as well. Who decides genres these days? Life has comedic moments, sure, but that doesn't turn life into a comedy. Same with some of these movies. Anyway, this one was okay. A bit too slow in places, and held up by Simon Pegg being quite funny, as usual.

Meet Bill: This one's the story of a sad guy named Bill who hates his life and decides to make it better by... well, quitting. Naturally, I can relate, but that just further depresses me. Jessica Alba's character is completely pointless, but then, so's her career. Aaron Eckhart is pretty decent in the title role, Elizabeth Banks further demonstrates her ubiquity, and the kid from that Jack&Bobby show does surprisingly well. A decent way to kill an hour and a half, I guess.

The Nines: I also knew nothing about this going in, except that Ryan Reynolds is in it. That man can make anything entertaining by his reaction shots alone. And we get a few of those in this, sure. It's a very odd, three-part sort of movie in which Reynolds plays multiple roles and the audience slowly comes to understand just what the hell is happening, almost. It's a bit weird, it's a bit meta, but I enjoyed the way the connections came together. Really, it's just hella strange, and I can't even begin to explain the plot, but it involves levels of reality and people being other people and things not being what they seem. If you enjoy working through confusion, see it.

Severance: I've been meaning to see this for a while, because it's a British horror-comedy and James Moran wrote it. Again, however, tone becomes important-- there's a lot more horror than comedy. That's alright, I guess. The horror is pretty good and everything. Unfortunately, the whole thing wasn't very funny. But the last line is priceless. So, yeah. It's okay. Not everything can be Shaun of the Dead. Woo. Scintillating review.

Now go away, I have movies to watch.

1 comment:

Ian said...

I've got to get me one of these X-Box devices all you young whippersnappers are going on about!

I don't know how you're plowing through so many movies a day, but you have my envy, sir. Nothing would please me more than plopping down and burning through the 500 films in my Netflix queue. My eyes would probably stop working a quarter of the way through, and my brain would proceed to trickle out my ears, but it'd be a hell of a marathon.

Anyway, yes, I'm looking forward to seeing what else you, um, see and review.