Thursday, August 9, 2012
Netflix This Movie! Vol. 4
Until the Light Takes Us (2009; dir. Aaron Aites, Audrey Ewell) A documentary about the pioneers of Norway’s black metal scene, who expressed rage not only through their music, but through violence, arson, and murder. The filmmakers neither condone or condemn their subjects. Instead, they sit back and let the (surviving) members of the so-called “Inner Circle” talk -- mixing interviews with home video and news footage. What they have to say is in turns compelling and chilling. Forget bored posers and Hot Topic kids, bands like Mayhem and Darkthrone were the real thing. They didn’t just want to change the world; they wanted to burn it down.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011; dir. Joe Johnston) I was looking to see if Netflix Instant featured Jesus Camp. It doesn't, but you should still watch it somehow! In the meantime, Captain America: The First Avenger!
Chances are, you read F This Movie! (the best "Talking-about-movies-on-the-internet" place around) and therefore have already seen the aforementioned Marvel movie. You probably saw it the day it opened, because I know you. And you are cool.
You over there: you're still pretty cool! I won't tell anyone... just watch it now...
Bonnie and Clyde (1967; dir. Arthur Penn) Come for the violence -- stay for the trenchant social satire.
Half Nelson (2006; dir. Ryan Fleck) This movie has everything: History teachers, smoking crack, basketball, dialectics, and Ryan Gosling. What more does anyone need? I had to drive downtown to see this originally -- you can watch it on your phone!
Croupier (1998; dir. Mike Hodges) Clive Owen takes a job as a dealer (or croupier) at a local casino to divert him from his crippling writer's block, but ends up entangling himself in the existential anxiety of gambling: how many chances before the losing breaks you? Brought to you by Owen's unwavering gaze and the guy who directed Flash Gordon. (Flash! AAAA HHHHHAAAAA.)
Mother (2009; dir. Joon-ho Bong, Korean language) A young man with learning disabilities is the primary suspect in a murder, and the young man's mother is his only protection as the authorities swirl around him. However, new facts surface as she delves more into the accusations surrounding her son, which lead to complicated choices.
Prince of Darkness (1987; dir. John Carpenter) I get to meet John Carpenter this weekend, so you should watch this movie in honor of that.
The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990; dir. Renny Harlin) If I'm going to be "that guy" every week in this Netflix column, I'm going to fully embrace the role. I'm not recommending The Adventures of Ford Fairlane ironically or as some kind of a goof. I genuinely think it's worth watching. Renny Harlin and Joel Silver once knew how to make slick, enjoyable entertainment, and the combination of late '80s/early '90s MTV culture and hard-boiled detective noir actually works, mostly thanks to Daniel Waters very self-aware screenplay (the movie was doing "meta" jokes before they were much of a thing). Andrew "Dice" Clay has the goods as a movie star, even if too much of his lame stand-up act wound up shoehorned into the film. Fox dumped the movie and it completely tanked, which is disappointing. I could actually have seen this being a franchise. THERE I SAID IT.