Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Lady in Number 6: How Music Saved My Life coming to Netflix in April

Netflix now has the Documentary Short and Oscar Nominated film Lady in Number 6: How Music Saved My Life. The film will be available April 1.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Preview for Star Wars on Netflix

I just watched Star Wars, Empire, and Return a few weekends ago with the kids. Cannot wait to start watching this with them come March.

Watch The Ice Harvest To Honor Harold Ramis / Watch Baby Boom To Mourn Him / And Always Watch Ghostbusters

The Ice Harvest (2005) PosterWith the passing of Harold Ramis, of course I should point out that he has a few movies streaming on Netflix. 3, to be precise. Ghostbusters of course is the main go-to, but I’d like to suggest The Ice Harvest, a sort of noir dark comedy that – even though it has John Cusack in it – is surprisingly good.

            I may be biased, since the story takes place here in Wichita, Kansas (of course not filmed here – that would be a bad sign should something interesting happen here in Wichita) and is based on a book written by a guy who is from here. It is interesting to point out though that, it may have not been filmed here, unlike most movies that show Wichita, Kansas, this movie pretty much got it dead on.

            The other movie is Baby Boom, but I guarantee even Harold Ramis would rather you not watch that on the day of his death.

Forbidden Love Review Part Two: Explanations and questions

Forbidden Love (1982) PosterMy wife and I finished Forbidden Love (first half of the movie reviewed here), and boy did these two have some explaining to do – a lot of explaining. The young doctor guy explained things to his parents – twice; the older woman explained things to her daughter, and then the young doctor guy had to explain things to the daughter as well. Not surprisingly, their May-December romance did not go over well for those immediately close to the couple.

            One of the highlights: fresh from getting a tongue lashing from his father – whom he’d flown to see on a minutes notice (using his older girlfriend’s money) – the young doctor guy runs out of their house and throws himself against a tree and sobs, holy cow was it awesome! The stuff that the older woman was going through wasn’t nearly as funny, and kind of sad and embarrassing really. In an attempt to get her boyfriend and his friends together so that he doesn’t lose touch with them, while at the same time so they can see that she is just like one of them (you know, young and strapped for cash and working around the clock (all of which she is not)), she suggests they throw a Bar-B-Q “by the pool!” The pool party doesn’t go well, though it goes about as well as any normal person would anticipate if you weren’t the older woman in the show who apparently thought it’d go much differently.

            Another highlight was when, while out on a date, the older woman meets one of her friends – an even older woman – who also has a young man in tow. The two men bump into each other in the bathroom and when the other guy makes a comment about how awesome it is dating older women for their money, our young doctor guy pushes him into a trash can and rushes out of there fast! This was mostly a highlight because I totally called the whole scene, but also because it was pretty funny.

            This movie also brought up a few important questions, one about society and one about my wife and I.

            First, whatever happened to the word “gigolo”? Seriously, that is a funny/silly word, which may be why it faded away, I don’t think it was meant to be silly. They certainly didn’t think it was silly in the movie the way they were throwing it around like it was something major. The young doctor guy’s father had a hard time even saying the word, and he wasn’t laughing when he said it, and his son seemed pretty insulted by the word, and the whole time I just couldn’t stop saying it and my wife and I laughing. I thought it was odd that women are called “whores” and men “gigolos”, but even the insults are unbalanced as the insult for the woman is much more worse than the guys. Inequality is everywhere, though I don’t think the filmmakers intended for one to think of such things while watching this movie.

            Another question: My wife asked me if I could be like that, date an older woman. I will admit, it was weird in the movie to see the guy ask for money to do things that he wants to do. I told my wife that it would really feel weird, having to ask for money, or having “gifts” like clothes and a car bought for me; but then I’d go home to my mansion, with servants, and a pool, and then I don’t think I’d have a problem with it anymore. Seriously, who would? I mean, if you love someone, fuck what anyone else says (unless it’s the one you’re in love with, and they say leave me alone and you say I love you – that’s not usually enough to base a good argument off of – or so a . . . friend of mine found out once), if you two are happy then that’s all that matters.

            My wife agreed, until I asked if she’d be upset if our son came home one day and said he was dating a rich older woman. She said yes instantly, but her reasoning was because she would want our son to have kids, we would want grandkids, and if he was dating an older woman the chances of him having kids would obviously not be very good (we’re using the movie as our basis for age differences and stuff like that). I agreed with her, but also, if the lady was rich and didn’t mind us visiting – a lot – I’m sure it’s something I could get over.

            We ended up liking Forbidden Love. It entertained us and made us both laugh  more than most comedy movies streaming right now, and the best thing about this movie, and movies like this, is that my wife and I actually talk, and it’s not about bills, or work, or anything negative, it’s always funny stuff. It’s cheap entertainment that in the long run, I think, ends up meaning more to us than we realize.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I "Liked It" Bad Milo!: A funny movie that kind of gets less funny as the movie goes on

Bad Milo (2013) Poster
I have a friend . . . let’s say, who isn’t too happy with his work, and who also has money problems at home. He’s got a lot of stress going on around him. He has ulcers and other stomach issues as well as regular heartburn. He’s tried a lot of gluten free food, yogurt that aging celebrities suggest on the TV, and anything and everything that he might find, all of it to no avail. I’m sure a lot of people go through the same problem that my friend has, and it is for them that this movie was made.

            I can totally understand the thinking behind this movie, a funny look at an issue that is both psychological as well as physical. I’m no doctor, but I would say that it is an issue of a physical manifestation of a psychological problem: stress turned into stomach problems. So they take it a giant leap further and make the psychological an actual creature – evil and deadly.

            The beginning of this movie was really funny, the people in the world of this movie are hysterical, and set up for everything was well done and got me interested immediately into what was going on. I could relate to the sort of reaction the main character’s body had to the sort of stuff going on around him while . . . I mean my friend could . . . I assume.

            It is my duty to mention Peter Stormare is in this movie and he is as always, great, through out the whole thing. Also Gillian Jacobs from Community is in this and it would be cool to see her in more things. Patrick Warburton is great as the boss, and Toby Huss as the doctor is hilarious as well, unfortunately those 2 are not in it long, and with them gone the movie never seems quite capable to keep pace. I was disappointed by Stephen Root, the owner of the radio station on Newsradio; he didn’t seem too into it and I would say that it was weird seeing him not be funny when he should have been, but I’m sure he was doing the best he could with what he was given to work with.

            The writing, the characters and the jokes and such, were pretty original, while the story itself was just your basic monster horror movie, but the two could have really gone together much better than they are presented here. The movie is suddenly not as good when the monster shows up. It’s like so much time and effort was put into creating the people around the monster, that when it finally shows up, they thought the monster was nothing more than something running around killing people. Which, it is, but they made a point of setting up that it is part of the guy – it’s not a mindless monster running around killing people – it’s the guy’s subconscious, yet it never really acts like it. Yeah it runs around and kills people the guy doesn’t like but it’s not presented in a way that I felt the guy and the monster were connected.

            Towards the end the monster goes for the guy’s wife, and no matter what she’s done, or what he feels that she has done, would the monster actually try to kill and eat his wife just because he wasn’t happy with her? I can understand his coworker, and especially his boss, but his wife?

            I know, it’s a movie about a monster coming and going through a guy’s butt, but because the beginning was so good in creating the characters and the world they live in, that I can’t understand or forgive the movie for not making the rest of the movie as good as the first.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Netflix Streaming Movies

Bad Milo is streaming now.

So is Best Man Down.

And all 4 Wishmaster movies!

Best Man Down does not look good – at all. Bad Milo could be really good or really bad, but I don’t see an in between with a movie like that. Wishmaster movies, 4 movies so bad they gotta be good, right? Has anyone seen any of these? Suggestions on which to watch? Bueller . . . Bueller . . . ?“

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Netflix Streaming: I "Hated It" Passion: I know I haven't made a movie, so I can't criticize, but this movie sucked.

Passion (2012) PosterWhat the hell happened to this movie? What the hell happened to Brian DePalma? Maybe nothing, and it’s me, it’s my wife too. Maybe we both got bonked on the head – hard – and now we’re unable to make any sense from a Brian DePalma movie. I mean, Jesus Christ, David Lynch movies are all crystal clear from start to finish compared to the last few minutes of this movie. The ending of this movie wasn’t just bad, it made no sense what-so-ever, and that’s not my opinion – that’s a fact!

            I know that no one can understand the ending of this movie, it is impossible. It’s not as simple as a character does something that they wouldn’t normally do . . . or anything like that. No, it doesn’t make sense because all of a sudden a new character shows up (or does she . . . ?), phones start ringing for no reason, and I could go on but why bother? None of it is explained, it just ends – or at least our streaming version of the movie ended there.

            Is it possible that we got a bad copy of the movie streamed to our house?

            No, it’s not; I know that, but seriously, what the fuck? It’s like DePalma felt that he had three or maybe four really cool endings, and he couldn’t choose which one he liked the most so he just said: “Fuck it, let’s use ‘em all!” And then what he did was he literally ate all the endings and then threw them up and edited the vomit together and said: “That’s the ending,” and then added quietly: “I don’t think I should make any more movies.” (I can only hope he actually said that last part.)

            This is not the movie the actresses signed up to be in, I believe it so much that I know it for a fact, they would not have been in this movie had this ending / these endings been in the script. Of course that is assuming that they were okay with the rest of the movie, and I find it difficult to believe that any rational person was okay with the any part of this movie, so I would say that DePalma’s name carries with it a certain amount of weight that manages to get movies made no matter the script as a whole. If that is true, someone needs to remedy that quickly before he makes another movie and humiliates the human race any further.

            There is just so much wrong with this movie. The acting is even bad, and the actresses in this movie are amazing at what they do. I mean Rachel McAdams was even great in Red Eye, and Noomi Rapace? I mean seriously, she’s one of the best actresses today, but in this movie they are horrible. I place the blame entirely in the sort of script they are working with, and the director who is directing them who also wrote the script.

            I think I may hate Brian DePalma after watching this movie.

            The movie pushes the lesbian attraction more than is necessary. Less is more DePalma, less is more, unless you’re wanting like a Basic Instinct type of movie – which at times he seems to be leaning towards, with a drawer of sex toys and the longing looks between girls, but none of it is given a point. Like, is it there just so that the movie can have some kissing and sell tickets to see that, because if so there’s hardly any kissing and when there is it is not sexy and just not worth it; or was it all to play mind games with the characters and us as well, if so that failed miserably because none of it had a point that helped the story either at that moment or for the ending or any big reveal.

            I watched the original version of this movie (click here for the review of Love Crime), so I was comparing them while watching this one and that was very jarring because I didn’t even realize the subtle development of the characters until they were removed from the American version. The biggest thing that was missing was the set up around the middle of the movie, the plan being put into place and everything that kept you guessing and wondering was removed for a very quick set up that just did not work. The plan requires a long set up, and with it shortened but the plan kept the same, it just did not work. The ending of the original, though I did not like, was not even remotely as much of a disgrace as this one was.

            My wife hadn’t seen the original movie, Love Crime, and she said she didn’t like Passion even before the ending, but the girl’s plan did keep her guessing, and for awhile there she was slightly interested in what was going on. She said the ending of the movie ruined anything slightly good about the movie.

            I wanted to really like this movie. I would have been happy with just liking it. When DePalma makes a good movie, it’s pretty freaking good, and the girls in this movie are great actresses. Everything about this movie says that it should be good, but it is not. I wanted to proudly write that as dumb as the American version of Love Crime was, I really enjoyed it, but I cannot.

            As dumb as Passion is, I really truly and absolutely hated it, and for the first time ever, I hate someone I have never met.

            Way to go DePalma, I hope you’re happy with yourself.

The Onion pokes fun at Netflix Streaming and is dead on

My wife and I can usually find something to watch on Netflix streaming . . . it's just usually not a movie.

More often than not it's a TV show that we didn't have time to catch or wasn't sure it would be any good, so we check it out now that it's streaming.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Netflix Streaming: I "Really Liked It" Love Crime: The ending almost ruined the movie for me though.

Love Crime (2010) PosterLove Crime, a movie I hadn’t heard of before, and probably never would have watched were in not for the American version having just come out via Netflix’s powerful stream, and even then I maybe would have watched it for Noomi Rapace, who is an amazing actress, but it wasn’t until I saw that Brian DePalma directed it that I knew I was going to check it out.

            Brian DePalma’s movies are not what they used to be, that’s for sure, but no one’s perfect, and the longer your career the bigger your odds of making a stinker are. He’s made some classics, so for every Snake Eyes, The Black Dahlia, or Bonfire of the Vanities, there’s Dressed to Kill, Body Double, Femme Fatale, and Raising Cain, to name a few of his good ones. Of course the poor ones are the most recent but none of them will make me avoid one of his movies (even though I should have avoided The Black Dahlia, that movie was really bad).

            I digress, for I did not see his version first, instead I saw the French version.

            I’ve had a thing for Kristin Scott Thomas ever since Four Weddings and a Funeral, I always thought she was attractive in an older woman “British” type of way. She is even now still attractive, or can be. She is not attractive in this movie, which threw me off. I think it was her acting; she was really just so good as the bitch boss that I didn’t like her – like, at all. Her toying with her assistant was kind of funny in the way that things are funny when they happen to someone else and not yourself, but still it was weird seeing Kristin Scott Thomas being like that. It wasn’t cool, like David Hyde Pierce acting against type, it was a betrayal! KST (as I’m sure she’d be okay with me calling her) is always nice and sexy, never mean! There's nothing sexy about a mean KST! The other girl, though . . . well, mean or nice, Ludivine Sagnier is sexy no matter what her attitude is.

            I looked her up and found that I had seen The Devil’s Double, Swimming Pool, Mesrine, and A Monster in Paris (voice), all with her in them. I don’t recall her in those movies (Swimming Pool my wife and I saw many years ago, and I vaguely remember her as the girl the older woman is fascinated by but not very well), but I should because she is an amazing actress.

            The two women may share the picture for this movie but this movie is entirely Ludivine’s. Her character’s change is believable, as a quiet trusting girl who is continually pushed by her cut throat boss, she changes into someone who decides to look out for herself and do whatever she can to get ahead. Things don’t go too smoothly for her at first which is one reason to keep watching, because you don’t know if what she does to try and get the upper hand will work or just make her boss even more pissed at her.

            I didn’t think it would go in the direction it went about halfway through the movie, and things continued to happen that made me wonder what the plan was, but the pay off was well worth it. To go through the time we did with her character, all the while wondering what her plan was, to the point that you almost start to doubt that there really is a plan at all – and then you finally get the reward and it is pretty fun and worth the wait.

            Then the movie ends, and the last five minutes of the movie, just about ruin the whole thing. Another development that kind of gets resolved but why!? Why is it even there? Why did that need to happen? It really almost ruined the whole movie for me, to me it negated everything that she had gone through and made her change totally pointless.

            The movie was well done, and I can see DePalma’s interest in it as it is a good base for the kind of stories that he tells; even with his recent history with his movies, I’m anxious to see what he does with a remake of this movie.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Netflix Streaming: I "Loved It" The Perfect Host: For some reason this is exactly how I imagined hanging out with David Hyde Pierce going.

The Perfect Host (2010) PosterThere are a lot of movies that “get away” now-a-days. You see a preview for a movie – not a big budget movie, a little indie movie – and it looks good, but you never hear anything about it again. Often times that movie is lost forever, never to be thought of again, and it isn’t even really missed hat much. Sometimes though you come across that movie later and you recall the preview and you think that you will finally get to see that movie that looked good so long ago.

            That happens a lot living in Wichita, Kansas. Not may independent movies make it out here. I don’t think my location has a whole lot to do with it though, many of these movies just plain don’t see the theatre much, and even if they did would one go to the movies for an indie movie that had the odds against it that it would be any good?

            Before Video On Demand, and even Netflix, straight to rental movies had a bad stigma, and it was difficult to argue that a movie like that was good. It certainly wasn’t balanced, the ratio of good to bad movies that went straight to rental. Now, though, it seems like the better movies are the ones that aren’t released in the theatre but instead by other means.

            This is one of the better movies streaming on Netflix now. When I hear people complain about Netflix and how nothing good is streaming I mention The Perfect Host, Absentia, and Pontypool; three reasons to keep streaming Netflix long enough, at least, to see these movies. Of course, if these movies are streaming, and good, imagine how many others are out there that haven’t been found yet (yeah, not many, I know, but there's got to be more, right?). It’s not the best way to spend one’s time, watching a few minutes of movies until you find one that is good / bearable, or you fall completely out of the mood and either find something else to do or go to bed defeated, I agree, but that’s where we are – and that’s why I started this blog, I suppose, to suffer so you wouldn’t have to. Also because I’m bored, I like movies, I like to write . . . but mostly because I’m bored.

            The Perfect Host is a movie that has a lot going for it and doesn’t drop the ball once. The whole time you think you know what’s going on, no matter how weird and off the wall things are, you’re pretty sure you know what’s going on, and then the movie starts to wrap things up and that’s when you realize you don’t know what’s going on. It never feels like cheap tricks, you’re never annoyed with the sort of things that happen, it’s all done in a way that keeps you steady and on track with what is going on.

            I was a bit disappointed by the preview for the movie, because as is often the complaint, it gives away too much of the movie. I knew more than I wanted to know going in, but then while I watched the movie I found out that the story still had a few tricks that weren’t in the preview so that was a pleasant surprise.

            My wife hadn’t seen the preview; she’s a fan of David Hyde Pierce and knowing this I suggested the movie and she went for it and she loved it. The guy is a great actor. I mean, I liked him enough, he was funny on Frasier, and anything else he was in he was always funny and likable, and boy does he blow that whole persona out of the water with this movie. Anyone that can be as likable and funny as he is in everything he does, and then act out the character in The Perfect Host so perfectly that it’s almost shocking is cool-cool in my book. The creepiest thing about this movie is that David Hyde Pierce is such a great actor, and does such a good job being a psycho.

            That’s not a slam against the movie either. The movie is great, the story and acting by everyone is great, but man David Hyde Pierce is something else. The other guy, Clayne Crawford works off of David Hyde Pierce perfectly, and he has a tough job of mostly just reacting to everything that is being thrown at him, but he does it and makes it look easy, and his own story of why and how he ended up in that house is one of the surprises that this movie has for you.