The thread for talking about movies you just barely got around to seeing

One of the most frustrating things about seeing movies through Netflix is that after you watch them, you want to discuss them, but then you realize you’re probably the only person around who’s watched that movie recently. That’s what this thread is for. Come unburden yourself of your movie opinions, and if you’re really lucky, you just might find someone who is willing to discuss it. I’ll start.

Our last Netflix was “The Rocker,” starring Jack Black…er…Dwight Schrute…er…Rainn Wilson. I have a small list of actors whose movies I’ll watch no matter what just to support them. Rainn isn’t quite on that list yet, but he has potential. Or so I thought. To be fair, actually, this movie wasn’t his fault. He acted his ass off. But MAN, what a stinker! He plays a middle-aged drummer who was kicked out of his band 20 years ago just before they became Metallica-huge. His bitterness about it has ruined his life, until he ends up drumming for his nephew’s high school band, which of course just happens to be the next huge thing.

The first bit had potential, but then it degenerated into the most boringly predictable Disney-style wish fulfillment garbage I’ve seen in a long time. I kept hoping that at the next plot point they’d do something unexpected and interesting, but no. It was paint-by-numbers plodding progression to the inevitable end. They must have drained Hollywood of bows, as they neatly tied up one thing after another after another in nice pretty ones. Someone please tell me that there’s evidence that this was written for Jack Black, but he turned it down because it was so awful, because it seemed glaringly obvious to me. Dreadful movie.

On the flip side, before that we got Ghost Town, because Ricky Gervais is still on my list, and it turned out to be surprisingly good. I hate romantic comedies, but they hit just the right balance with this one - funny and touching without being over-the-top or cheesy. Ricky will be the first to tell you he’s not much of an actor, but he did a good job on this one. Oh, plot summary - right. Ricky is a misanthropic dentist who dies for a few minutes during a colonoscopy (him finding this out is one of the funniest scenes). When he wakes up, he can see and hear dead people all around him, who begin pestering him with requests for him to take care of all their unfinished business. One of them, Greg Kinnear, gets him to attempt to ruin his widow’s upcoming marriage. The rest follows fairly predictably, but enjoyably. Anyway, that was one for which I didn’t have very high hopes, but turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

The only other movie I’ve seen recently about which I have feelings strong enough to post was “Journey to the Center of the Earth” with Brendan Frazier. My stepson convinced my wife and I to sit through it with him. Suffice it to say we quickly began IMing each other about how horrible it was to avoid offending him. I think somebody made a bet to see how many cliches they could cram into one DVD. Whoever it was must have won.

Great idea for a thread, Smeghead. I hope it generates a lot of interest. My latest film is “Lakeview Terrace” with Samuel L. Jackson. It seemed like I’d been seeing the trailer for a year “The man has the color issue on his side. . . and that color happens to be blue” (cut to Samuel L. in a police uniform) and by the time it arrived via Netflix I expected to already know everything that was going to happen. It was somewhat pridictable and flawed in more than a few ways, but if you’re a fan at all S L J then you’re going to want to see this. He goes over the top in that awesome, badass way only Sammy L can do. He should definitely be up for some Best Movie Villain award (doesn’t MTV do something like that?)

This is a great thread for me, because I am always behind the times when it comes to films.

Recently we got The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford on Netflix… I loved it! And I had not been very excited about it, because I’m not overly fond of Westerns, and the title left me cold, and the entire Affleck family makes me nervous … but I thought it was great.

Mr. Del, on the other hand, who loves Westerns, fell asleep. So there’s that.

If you are in the mood for something that is more visually stunning than full of action, and you do not mind films that have a slower, yet more deliberate, pace, then I would recommend this highly.

Jack Black turns down movies?

My last three Netflix movies:
[li]The Third Man: I *try *to enjoy movies this old, but I think that movies (and our culture as a whole) have changed too much. I dozed off. I hope I don’t have the same reaction to M, which is on the way.[/li][li]Repo! The Genetic Opera: My friends and I decided that it sounded so strange, we had to see it: a gory sci-fi opera starring Paul Sorvino and Anthony Stewart Head, featuring Sarah Brightman, Paris Hilton, and Ogre from the band Skinny Puppy. If you’ve ever wanted to see Paris Hilton’s face fall off, here’s your chance.[/li][li]Millennium Actress: Great movie. An documentarian and his cameraman interview an actress about her life. They appear in the obligatory flashbacks, filming and commenting on the events. As the movie goes on, lines blur, as some of the flashbacks are of her film roles, and the two men start affecting the events.[/li]The actress is forever seeking the mysterious painter who gave her a key when she was a girl, which the documentarian returns to the actress at the beginning of the interview. What happened to the painter? What does the key open? How did she lose the key, and how did the documentarian end up with it? Who is the wraith that haunts her? One of these mysteries isn’t solved at the end…

  1. The Spanish Prisoner - I saw this on tape when it first came out on VHS and had fond memories of it as a good thriller. It hasn’t aged well. I found it contrived and terribly written.

  2. **In Bruges **- Oh, this is an awesome movie. Go see it right now. It is so quotable, my wife and I now include it in our little group of favorite movies.

Yay, I’m glad to hear you liked it! It had a small but loyal following when it played in the theater, but I always assumed it would do most of its business on DVD, so I’m happy to see its name popping up again. It is wonderful, and yes, so quotable (though, well, maybe not in polite company)! It’s a fookin’ fairy tale!

We saw this at a screening, and after it Wilson showed up to talk to people. He can’t be that embarrassed by it. It was pretty cringe-inducing. It had one great laugh for me, and it wasn’t provided by Rainn Wilson, but by the great Howard Hesseman:

“There’s two things I don’t trust without wires. Telephones…and marionettes.”

It was something about how he said it, and how unexpected it was, that just slayed me. I would have loved to see a whole film about Hesseman’s bus driver.

AvP2. I recorded it from HBO and fast forwarded through all but about 15 minutes of it, which was obviously enough. What a piece of crap.

SPACE MARINES!!! GIVE US SOME GODDAMN SPACE MARINES!!! They took the coolest monsters in the history of film and put them in a standard horror setting. To make up for this, they turned everything awesome about them up to 11. So it’s not just acid blood, it’s super acid that burns through arms! And the predator has a ton of cool gadgets! And the predalien can hork unlimited amounts of eggs into anyone it sees! And neither species cares about stealth or secrecy anymore, they wreak havok right out in the open!

Sure fucking is.

If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me but I didn’t, so it doesn’t

You’re an inanimate fuckin’ object!

Oh stop crying, you big, dumb, gay baby!

And never forget, you can’t sell horse tranquilizers to midgets!


Hancock – if I’d seen it in the theater, the twist might have surprised me, but the DVD cover gave it away. I liked it. I thought the mix of comedy and drama was done as well as it could have been, but I wouldn’t have minded it as a straight drama. Smith and Theron were convincing as ill-fated immortal lovers – I felt for them and I’m glad that Jason Bateman’s character seemed to understand.

Watchmen. I’m frankly astonished that anything even remotely resembling the comic made it to the big screen without being horrendously neutered, so huge respect for the director. It certainly wasn’t perfect, but even the failures were interesting.

The casting was a mixed bag: the Comedian and Rorschach were fantastic, Doc Manhattan was surprisingly good in such a difficult role: he had the right mixture of detachment and curiosity about humanity, without being completely blank. Dan and Laurie were pretty good, but unfortunately Ozymandias was woefully miscast. The character is supposed to radiate charisma - he’s the smartest man in the world, the richest man in the world, the greatest athlete in the world, and a relentless self-publicist, not some insipid dweeb with a Spandau Ballet haircut.

The pretty strict adherence to the adherence to the comic was both a strength and a weakness. When it worked, it worked wonderfully: the fight leading to the Comedian going out the window was exactly as I visualised it from the comic; you could even pick out which frame was being used. That was a fantastically choreographed and shot fight scene, which even managed to add to the characterisation: the Comedian was a smart, ruthless, dirty street figher, but he was just totally outclassed by Veidt’s clinical perfection.

Unfortunately, the following the comic closely didn’t always work: the sex scene between Dan and Laurie in the Owlship was storyboarded faithfully from the comic frames, right down to the climactic flamethrower, but on the screen it all looked a bit Austin Powers. Ditto Dan and Rorscach approaching Veidt’s base to the sound of Jimi Hendrix: yeah, I know it was taken from the comic {although the movie ditched the little Owlscooters, so they weren’t really two riders approaching, were they?}, but that song has been done to death on soundtracks. It’s scenes like that that occasionally made you wish the director had been more adventurous in adapting the material.

The biggest change he did make, to the mechanics of Veidt’s scheme, I really did like. It elegantly cut out the need for a lot of subplot with the missing artists, and while remaining true to Veidt’s intent, having him frame Jon made a lot more sense than magicking a giant alien squid into New York. It was a shame that the exposition was a little rushed at that point: it should have gradually dawned on Rorschach and Dan the horror that was Veidt’s plan, only to be told as they try to reason him out of it that it was a fait accompli. And what happened to the exultant Veidt? He wasn’t in the least penitent in the comic, he saw himself as a new Alexander cutting the Gordian knot. Again, I blame the casting.

One minor nitpick: what happened to the smoking? In the comic the smoking was constant, but in the movie only the Comedian had his stogie, presumably to emphasise what a bad hat he was. If this was an alternate mid-80’s, everyone should have have smoked like fish, and the lack of lighting up - presumably as a sop to modern sensibilities - jarred a little.

Another nitpick: Veidt should not have referred to himself as a “comic book villain”: there were no superhero comics in that world, only pirate comics. That line was too archly ironic; the original “B-movie villain” line should have been kept.

Aww, Third Man didn’t do it for you? I think it’s got some definite appeal, even today. IMO the only part that’s really pretty hideously out-of-date is the odd orchestration, but outside of that I think the intrigue works.

As for having “dozed off”, did you make it to the part where Welles actually shows up at the end? That’s what “makes it”. He has a speech from the Ferris wheel that’s better than anything in Citizen Kane.

I recently finally saw Zodiac. I thought it was quite good but frustrating. But given the material it should be frustrating. Good work from the whole cast.

Saw three movies this past week.

The Rocker. I agree this movie was weak. Even at an hour and forty minutes it felt about 40 minutes too long. Felt like I was watching a movie made for the Disney channel. Rainn worked with what he was given, which wasn’t much.

Nick & Norah’s Infinate Playlist. Watchable but not by much. I would have felt cheated if I actually went to the theatre to see it. Hard to buy two girls fighting over Michael Cera.

Bladerunner: Final Cut. One of my all time favorites. Haven’t watched it in about 10 years and finally got around to watching the final cut DVD I bought a couple years ago. Still great. First time I noticed though Roy telling Tyrell “I want more life, father.” I always heard it as “I want more life, fucker.” I though maybe they changed it for the final cut but it turns out he read the line purposefully blending father/fucker.

I thought there were some really great aspects to this movie … and during the scene where the main cartoonist guy has gone to the house of movie theater guy, and he’s in the basement … it was so suspenseful I thought I was going to crawl right out of my skin.

After the movie, I went out and read the book (written by the cartoonist guy) and it was a little unsettling to realize how obsessed this guy became with the case. Much, much more obsessed than the movie communicates.

I was awake again by the time Harry first appeared, and saw the remainder of the film. I had seen the ferris wheel scene before, probably on an AFI special.

Twilight ~ I was led to believe that there were werewolves in this one. Denied! This was a movie I would have just eaten up as an angst-ridden teen but now I just think it will be a great drinking game at my next gathering of girlfriends. I just searched out the original thread and resisted bumping it to answer another poster’s question, sending a PM instead.

**Bigger, Stronger, Faster **~ documentary on steroids. Remarkably good.

I’m also just catching up with tv series like “Flight of the Conchords” (awesome) and “Corner Gas” (doubleplus awesome). I don’t have cable so I’m always a few seasons behind the discussions on the board. Once I’m done a series, I search the board and see the chatter I’ve missed out on.

Oh, and also saw Death Race last night. Mindless fun & eye candy that wasn’t as horrid as I was expecting.

I’m going from memory here, but I’m a long-time fan of the movie as well. I remember watching it time and again when it came to HBO in the early 80’s. I believe that you were correct in that the line used to be heard as, “I want more life, fucker.” If you watched Hauer’s mouth in the old versions, he SAID 'father" during the filming, but they dubbed in “fucker” afterward. I’ll never understand why they did that, and have long thought it was a poor decision. As his maker/designer, Tyrell WAS Roy’s father.

My Netflix queue is just the next tab over. Thanks for helping me add to it!

Here’s my contribution:

It Happened One Night: Talk about just getting around to see a movie, this one is 75 years old now! I liked it; it was well-made and had a snappy script. It was completely cliche-ridden, but I have to believe that, like in Shakespeare, some of the cliches I noticed only became cliches in the intervening years. A couple items of note: there’s a scene where Clark Gable takes off his shirt, and he is not wearing an undershirt, which surprised me. Then I read later that he was having trouble doing the scene while removing an undershirt, so they did the scene without one, which caused undershirt sales to plummet nationwide after the film came out. Also, there’s an ‘Autogyro’ towards the end of the movie, which is like a cross between an old helicopter and an old airplane. I never knew such a thing existed. It was awesome. Anyway, I’m glad I finally caught up with this oldie but goodie.